Richard Maun – Surf The Big Strokes

better business blog

Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


Surf The Big Strokes

28 October 2018

What is the point of business? To become a millionaire? To employ people and give them interesting work? To contribute something to society?

Lots of businesses have robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and initiatives, so maybe business is more than a naked pursuit of profit.

Likewise, with mental health and well-being ever higher up the agenda, businesses are increasingly more proactive in looking after their staff. Makes sense to me …life and work is stressful so why not make an effort to support people?

And what ties everything together for me is the concept of ‘strokes.’

A stroke, in this context, is a unit of recognition and the term is part of the Transactional Analysis lexicon.

We will explore TA a bit more next week.

People thrive on recognition. It nurtures our soul, reminds us we have value and, at a deeper level, confirms that we exist.

Everyone needs to know they are appreciated and cared for. This extends to customers and suppliers too, as without them our business is doomed.

Strokes are not rationed either, they are freely available and we can offer then to people without worrying that they will somehow run out (a popular misconception).

“Hello …good morning …how was your weekend …thanks for working late …good thinking …great presentation …well done for completing the order on time …lovely to work with you …really appreciate your help …enjoy your holiday …have a great weekend.”

These are a examples of healthy, caring strokes that we can give to people. We can give them sincerely and we can give them freely.

Even though they might sound like little words, they can have a big impact. Staff relish being appreciated and love it when their hard work and diligence is noticed.

We all do!

We can give strokes and we can receive them as well. We can smile and say ‘thank you,’ instead of batting them away with a dismissive wave.

We can learn to surf the big strokes …we can enjoy them, let them sink in and we can feel pleased with ourselves.

Surfing takes a bit of practice and so it is with giving and receiving strokes. At first people often think that too many strokes are going to make people somehow ‘go soft,’ but that’s just a fallacy. You’d be kind to a dog, so I think it’s okay to treat humans with continued kindness.

Businesses are excellent stroke generating machines and the really successful ones know this and embed them in their customer service attitude, the way they treat their staff and they way they engage with their local community.

We can all surf the big strokes we get …we can smile and feel good and let ourselves enjoy the moment.

Thank you for reading this! (A genuine stroke for you there …I love writing the #BetterBusiness blog and always appreciate it when people read it).

Next week: What Is Transactional Analysis?


Click cover to view details on Amazon


Riding the Rocket

How to manage your Modern Career

Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



Bouncing Back

How to get going again after a career setback

Published 2012 Marshall Cavendish



How to Keep Your Job

Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in

Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish



Job Hunting 3.0

Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age

Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish



Leave the Bastards Behind

An insider's guide to working for yourself

Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish



My Boss is a Bastard

Surviving turmoil at work

Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact