How full is your bucket?

How full is your bucket?

It’s not a question I ever imagined myself asking. But it’s one that’s been heard many times around Leuchie House over the past week.

We’ve just had our annual management team strategic planning meeting. Thanks to the generosity of the Cray Trust, every March we’re able to bring the full Leuchie management team together for two days away from the House to work on forward planning.  Time away like this is a luxury in any organisation but particularly in a 24/7, shift-based operation like ours. So it’s a very rare and welcome opportunity for managers from across our operational and business teams to work together.

One of the leadership tools we used was the How full is your bucket? technique.  In case you’ve never come across it before, I thought I’d share it with you.  It’s such a powerful concept, equally applicable to our home lives as to our work lives.

The principle is simple. It’s based on the idea that each of us has an invisible bucket which is constantly emptied or filled, depending on how we interact with others. When our bucket is full we feel energised, positive and optimistic. When it’s empty, we feel down and pessimistic.

We also have an invisible dipper. When we do or say things that make others happy, we’re using that to fill their buckets, which in turn fills our own. When we’re negative, we dip from their bucket and our own, leaving us all feeling unhappy.

So it’s all about the choices we make in interacting with one another and the power these choices have to influence our relationships, health and happiness.

At Leuchie House, we have a naturally positive environment – it’s the best team I’ve ever worked with in that respect – but there are always ways we can build on this and this tool has given us a lot of food for thought. It’s also something we can all learn a great deal from on a personal level.

Maybe we should all ask ourselves daily, how full is our bucket and how much have we done to fill other people’s? The impact could be amazing!

Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in The East Lothian Courier on 12 April 2018.

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