A round of applause acknowledges a job well done. It’s a sign of appreciation for the preparation and effort. Sometimes it’s earned. Often it’s protocol. We’ve been conditioned to applaud at the end of the show. We are polite enough to thank people for showing up. We golf clap a triple bogey.
A standing ovation is different. The Standing O gets extended when we are unexpectedly moved, changed or transformed. The Standing O serves to validate the enormous value of the contribution. The Standing O signifies the exchange is special. The Standing O is spontaneous.
The Standing O doesn’t come easy. Someone on the receiving end has to believe that applause isn’t a sufficient thank you for the gift. The Standing O is earned. It’s usually worth the sacrifice and hard effort. Not for the validation but the opportunity to have an impact.
Opportunities abound to earn Standing O moments in our work and life even when the applause isn’t included. The special smile, wink, nod, hug, tear, handshake and handwritten note all serve to acknowledge overwhelming appreciation for the difference made.
You know when it happens. You earned it.