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How Full is Your Bucket?

Dear All,


This week we have selected for you, a brief summary of a book titled ‘How Full is Your Bucket’, by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton. Every piece that is sent out for you to read is not only chosen for you to develop a  habit of reading, but it is also expected that you take back something from what you read. This particular one talks  about something we can all relate to and we hope these ideas inspire you.


Thank you and have a great weekend!


A Book Report on How Full is Your Bucket?

By Tom Rath & Donald Clifton, Ph.D.

(Book Report by Gary Tomlinson)


The Theory of the Dipper and the Bucket:

Each of us has an invisible bucket. It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty, we feel awful. Each of us also has an invisible dipper. When we use that dipper to fill other people’s buckets – by saying or doing things to increase their positive emotions –we also fill our own bucket. But when we use that dipper to dip from others’ buckets – by saying or doing things that decrease their positive emotions – we diminish ourselves. Like the cup that runneth over, a full bucket gives us a positive outlook and renewed energy. Every drop in that bucket makes us stronger and more optimistic. But an empty bucket poisons our outlook, saps our energy, and undermines our will. That’s why every time someone dips from our bucket, it hurts us. So we face a choice every moment of every day. We can fill one another’s buckets, or we can dip from them. It’s an important choice – one that profoundly influences our relationships, productivity, health, and happiness.

Bucket Filling in Organizations: Although the bucket filling goes far beyond the concepts of “recognition” and “praise,” these are two critical components for creating positive emotions in organizations. Study after study has found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:


Killing Productivity:

Not surprisingly, workgroups drained by excessive bucket dipping aren’t only less productive and less profitable, they also have higher turnover, more accidents on the job, and lower customer satisfaction, innovation, and quality scores.

Studies find that negative employees can scare off every customer they speak with – for good!

The Recognition Gap: Managers, take note: Praise is rare in most workplaces.

Although we need and want recognition and praise, the fact is, we don’t get enough – and organizations suffer because of it. Sincere and meaningful bucket filling increases the morale of any organization. Managers and employees who actively spread positive emotions, even in small doses, will see the difference immediately. And creating that difference can be inexpensive – or even free. All it takes is a little initiative.

Making It Personal:

The key to great bucket filling: Recognition is most appreciated and effective when it is individualized, specific and deserved. Generic, one-size-fits all awards don’t work. Neither does recognition that seems forced or false. Not only is individualized bucket filling more effective in boosting productivity in the workplace, it builds sustainable relationships and changes people’s lives forever.

Five Strategies for Increasing Positive Emotions:

To increase positive emotions in your life and others’ lives, you must make a habit of filling buckets. Listed below are the five strategies that are most likely to produce results.

Strategy One – Prevent Bucket Dipping: The next time you see bucket dipping in progress, do something about it. Convince others that unwarranted negativity only makes matters worse.

Once you’ve consciously started to eliminate bucket dipping, keep track of your progress by scoring your interactions. Decide if, overall, each interaction was more positive or negative.

Strategy Two – Shine a Light on What is Right: Each interaction gives us the chance to shine a light on what’s right – and fill a bucket. Every time you fill a bucket, you’re setting something in motion.

So continue the chain: When someone fills your bucket, accept it – never brush it off and diminish what that person is doing. Fill their bucket in return by saying “thank you,” letting them know that you appreciate the compliment or recognition. In turn, you are more likely to share your renewed positive energy with others.

Strategy Three – Make Best Friends: If you think about it, most of us join and stay with groups, teams, and organizations because of our best friends. People with best friends at work have better safety records, receive higher customer satisfaction scores, and increase workplace productivity. Whether you want to build many relationships or just a few deep ones, your best approach is to fill a person’s bucket in your very first interaction. This is a powerful way to initiate new relationships – and to strengthen your existing relationships. In fact, your friendships are unlikely to survive, let alone thrive, without regular bucket filling. Create positive interactions with others that you come into contact with. When you do, you might start to notice that more and more people want to be around you.

Strategy Four – Give Unexpectedly: Expected gifts do fill our buckets, but for some reason, receiving things unexpectedly fills our buckets just a little more. It can be a gift of trust or responsibility. Sharing something personal or entrusting a friend with a secret can fill his or her bucket.

Strategy Five – Reverse the Golden Rule: In the case of bucket filling, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ doesn’t apply. Instead, we suggest a slight variation: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” When it comes to robust and meaningful bucket filling, individualization is the key. So when you’re bucket filling, go ahead and reverse – or at least redefine – the Golden Rule. An important aspect of individualization is this: What we recognize in others helps them shape their identity and their future accomplishments. This is why bucket filling must be specific to the individual. Don’t waste another moment.

A bucket, somewhere, is waiting for you to fill it!

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