The release date of this article was strategically planned – because toasts should not be reserved for New Year’s Eve only.
Toasts should not be unspoken until the end of your season or project.
Team celebrations and personal reflections should, like feedback, be shared and encouraged on a consistent basis.
It is always a good time to remind ourselves of what is important moving forward and to celebrate the small successes of our recent past.
I am a huge fan of this quote by Benjamin Franklin:
“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.”
Everyone remembers to share the same three-word toast at the stroke of midnight, but few teams or families or groups take the time at other points throughout the year prior to improve their fate with four other important toasts. In your quest to become better with each new year or season or quarter or month or project you and your team will spend together, I suggest that you consider adding four toasts to your list of to-do’s over the coming week.
So what are the four important toasts that will improve your team FATE?
I’m glad you asked!
Even though January is a distant image in our rear-view mirrors, be sure that you and your team apply the enthusiasm of January to your team life with the following four important toasts: Failures, Achievements, Teammates, and Expectations…
- Toast your Failures
Mistakes are how we learn and improve. They are catalysts for change, and can sometimes be the most important experiences of our past. Don’t get caught up denying or regretting them – let your failures be the feedback that fuels your future efforts! Success is never a straight-line drive, and you will do well to find value in the lessons your off-road experiences may have provided.
- Toast your Achievements
Recall what you did well. Be sure to remind yourself and your team of how far you have come, and the many things you have successfully completed. What are you proud of? Be sure to recall the many accomplishments you and those close to you have enjoyed, and take a moment to acknowledge each of those special occasions.
- Toast your Teammates
Winning Teammates say thank you to ALL the people on their team. Make sure that your family, your friends your mentors, and any other individuals who helped to influence your growth over the last 12 months know how much you appreciate their contributions to your life.
There is no such thing as a self-made man, and team development is supercharged by showing your gratitude to those who helped you reach your current position. Identify the skill you appreciate in them, and you will find them (and others) even more willing and enthusiastic to contribute in the future!
- Then, Toast your Expectations
Be bold enough to not only set and write down what you plan to do in the upcoming year, but to speak it into existence and provide yourself the accountability of others knowing what you intend to do. Let your enthusiasm inspire others to join the crusade and offer their contributions. If you don’t tell others what you want to do, they won’t know how to help you do it…
If you will take the time to toast these four things, your team’s FATE will most assuredly be more positive year round.
Learn from your mistakes. Appreciate your successes.
Be grateful for the people around you.
Look ahead to the adventures that await you (maybe consider scheduling an engaging teamwork speaker for your next conference!).
Be intentional about making this next year even more memorable and impactful.
Every team needs to take time to reflect on occasion, and this time of year is a terrific opportunity to remind yourself and your teammates that you aren’t where you want to be – but even more importantly, that you aren’t where you used to be!