A few weeks ago, I was on a call with one of my team mates at work. For the sake of non-disclosure, I won’t say his name or profile. It’s not very important either. He basically handles the operations at another of our company locations in India.

Our team had a target to meet, doing a certain number of inspections within the month and I was coordinating from the head office in Gurgaon. Since it was my job to push the teams across the country to meet the targets, I had to be aggressive at times. I had to push, at times pressurize the team members in different tones at different times to make sure that they don’t deviate from the targets. Especially since they were situated in different locations and I was managing them remotely.

So in our conversation, we got to a point where I was pushing him to reduce a certain factor which will lead to increase in the number of inspections. All this while, he was stressing on the fact that his team was already working hard to meet the targets themselves, and I was trying to push him to work harder to reduce that particular factor.

Then came the moment of truth when he mentioned that so far out of all inspections done, it was his team alone which had done 50% of the inspections and all the other teams combined had met the other 50, a big deal in itself.

To which my reply was, “Wo to theek hai par ye factor to kam karna hai na apne ko.” (That is fine but we have to reduce this factor too.)

The moment I said that, I could not help but ask myself this question. Did I ever appreciate him or his team members for being the ones to do 50% of the inspections? I was so engrossed in finding and pushing on what he was yet to do that I simply forgot to take a look at what he had already achieved. True, it was the middle of the game and the match was still far from over, but the fact that his team had achieved so much definitely deserved appreciation.

I was so engrossed in the final result that I missed noticing what good was already happening during the interim.

And this is what I want to ask you. Is there any project that you are currently pursuing where you are still some distance away from the goal? How many times have you looked at where you have reached and appreciated the team (or yourself) for reaching this far? Are you, like me, missing the appreciation you or your team rightly deserve, even while you’re still far away from any significant milestone?

Let’s appreciate people more for who they are and what they’ve done for or with us. There’s as much power in appreciation for what has been done as there is in putting pressure on what is yet to be.