Shine on: Recognitions Are Important

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By April Jasper, OD, FAAO, and Katie Gilbert-Spear, OD, MPH, WO Professional Co-editors and Co-founders, Distinctive Strategies and Leadership


At all levels, it’s important to recognize the accomplishments of the people you work with. Similarly, it’s nice to be recognized for the hard work or good ideas you have.

Organizations that make it a point to celebrate work done well have a culture of positivity. But as a team leader, you have to set the example. Be specific when you thank people for their efforts. It’s nice to hear someone say, “Thank you,” but it’s more meaningful if you can say, “Thank you for the way you handled that situation with Mrs. Jones.” Look for opportunities every day to acknowledge your team, your co-workers and your family members. If you make that a part of your routine, you can change the atmosphere in your practice—and at home.

You’ll probably hear others start doing it, too. One way that you can recognize the women ODs you work with or have been influenced by is to nominate them for a Theia award of excellence. In 2016, Women In Optometry launched this awards program for women ODs—yielding hundreds of nominations. Look for the nomination forms soon via email and on the website—and plan to join us at our event during the American Academy of Optometry meeting.

We’re thankful that this industry finds opportunities to acknowledge the good work of so many people who are dedicated to improving the profession and public health. At the American Optometric Association meeting in Washington, D.C., two women ODs will be honored. Click here to read more about AOA Optometric Educator of the Year Elizabeth Steele, OD. And click here to learn about AOA Young OD of the Year Angelique Sawyer, OD, FAAO.


Dr. Steele & Dr. Sawyer