RCT Blog


"How Full Is Your Bucket?" by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton is the title of a book that I recently pulled off of my bookshelf and skimmed once again. This is a powerful little book that I suggest you read.

The "bucket" theory stems from studies of POW's during the Korean War. These studies revealed that "relentless negativity resulted in a 38% POW death rate - the highest in U.S. military history." Apply that theory to the workplace, and you get a similar finding - negativity kills. Negativity kills employee engagement, morale, productivity, spirit, motivation - the list goes on and on.

The theory of the dipper and the bucket states that "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."

I'll have more insights to share from this book in upcoming posts toStraight Talk From the Coach.

Pamela Canning, CSC 

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