Today I was voted "Catch of the Week" by my fellow coworkers. Now I understand that most of you don't know what I'm talking about, but that is beside the point; the point is my peers recognized my contribution to the workplace today. On their own. With absolutely no suggestion or coercion from me whatsoever. Really.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Of course, those of you who know me are well aware that I'm a total sucker for this sort of thing--I was the kid who couldn't wait to get home to show mommy the gold star/happy face/A+ I got from teacher. You pat me on the head and tell me I'm doing a great job and I'm your best friend for life.
I'm not really sure why this is so important to me. My parents certainly encouraged and praised me as a child (and as an adult for that matter), and I had some wonderful teachers and other mentors who did the same, so I doubt it comes from a lack of recognition at any point in my formative years. And I'm not a butt-kisser or a suckup--I don't ingratiate myself with people to curry favour or anything like that. I don't expect a constant stream of compliments and flattery from an entourage of "yes men". I'm just really motivated by positive feedback and recognition for a job well done. Some people are motivated by money, some people are motivated by fear. I'm motivated by praise.
We all want to be liked, valued and appreciated; today I know I am all three.