A couple weekends ago I ran the Cleveland half marathon, all 13.1 miles. It was an exciting scene. Twenty plus thousand people, racing, cheering, volunteering. Some people ran to support the victims of the Boston marathon bombing; some for charity; some for the challenge; some just because they love to run.

My adrenaline was off the charts. For a while.

Then the fatigue started to kick in. And the aches. But there were people – strangers, mostly – cheering from the sidelines. Holding funny signs (“who needs toenails anyway?”). Playing music. Telling us we could do this. And it made a huge difference. It literally drowned out the negative voice in my head telling me I couldn’t keep running. So I finished, and with a time I’m happy with. After the race I felt relieved, happy, and sore. But mostly, I was and am grateful for the support and the positive reinforcement.

How can my experience translate to your workplace?

If such positive feedback can have such a big impact on a two hour run, imagine what it can do for your workplace, where employees spend most of their waking hours. In a respectful working environment where positive feedback is the norm, you can expect to see employees full of motivation, dedication, perseverance, and a desire to do great work, to name just a few.