Economy defined at the most simplistic of terms is the production and consumption of goods and services. In a healthy economy, there is a constant flow of these goods and services, and everyone benefits. In other words, as the popular idiom goes, money makes the world go round. But as Paul Van Der Merwe, author, engineer and Guinness World Record holder reminds us:
"Money [may] make the world go round, however, happiness greases the axle. Without this lubricant, life will seize."
At Online Trading Academy, we have taken this idea to a whole new level with what we refer to as Duckonomy, or Pass the Duckie. The goal of Duckonomy is to take a moment out of your day to express your appreciation to a work colleague for a job well done and/or show how much you appreciate them. In other words, when we Pass the Duckie, we are taking time to grease the axle.
You may be asking yourself, "Why ducks?" We have chosen little yellow rubber ducks not only for fun and convenience, but they are actually symbolic of the Mandarin duck. In both China and Japan, the beautiful birds--whether displayed as an image on a wall or little figurines on one's shelf--are used in feng shui and represent our core value--love--for they stay with their partners for life. They are also used as a symbol of happiness, to help release blockages and support one's life journey.
It is important to point out, for Duckonomy to truly be impactful, the goal is not to collect the ducks and display them on our desks as in feng shui. Instead, the idea is to keep them moving from one co-worker to another. In this way, like a healthy economy, love and happiness spread throughout the company and everyone benefits.
The game looks something like this:
- First, visit a colleague. Someone who has impacted your life in some way … If you can, go out of your way to make a special visit, don’t just tag it on to something else
- Hand them a duck … that’s the easy signal that you have something important to say and for them to quiet themselves and be ready to listen
- Share a meaningful event or situation –or what Mike Richardson calls an enriching moment of truth—in which the person you are giving the duck has impacted your and/or the company.
- Be specific, genuine and heartfelt. Tell them exactly what they did that made an impact on you or the company and why you appreciate them
- Don’t engage in just flattery such as “you’re awesome” … the difference between flattery and heartfelt appreciation is evidence … a specific instance of something they did or said which impacted you leaving you with a genuine sense of appreciation … sometimes it can be something they didn’t do or didn’t say when it would have been so easy for them to do so.
For those receiving the duck:
- Be gracious in the moment … just quiet yourself … have great eye contact … step aside for a little more privacy if needed … don’t joke around … the “giver” of your duck is putting themselves out on a limb, they may have had to build up some courage and get clear what they want to say, so don’t make it any harder for them.
- Listen to the “giver” until they are completely done. Do not talk or interrupt when they are sharing why they are thankful for you. Give them the space and time that they need.
- When they are done saying their piece, just say “Thank You” and give them a hug. That’s it, nothing more. Don’t brush it off (“oh, it’s nothing really”), don’t deny it (“but, everybody does what I do”) and don’t reciprocate (reciprocating straight away lessens the moment … if you have been thinking about giving them a duck too, choose a different moment)
It’s that easy. When done in this manner, not only will one little duck have a HUGE impact on someone’s life, the love and happiness will spread throughout the company making an impact on each other, our students, our franchises and beyond.