Celebrations are an important feedback loop. A celebration tells people that their efforts are appreciated, no matter the outcome. Celebrations come in all sizes, from a simple public acknowledgment to something bigger.

However, be conscious of what you do right after the celebration. If you say, “that was good, but here’s how we can make it better … “ you have negated the celebration with your ‘but.’

Buts come in many forms, such as “Now, how can we do better next time?” Or, “What would it take to go further?”

Instead of following a celebration with a ‘but,’ allow some space. Allow the celebration to settle in, and ask questions to get them talking about what went well. Then, and maybe at a future date, ask them questions to get them talking about how they might raise the bar. If you have a suggestion, ask their permission before offering it, as they’re less likely to see it as a directive.

You’ve got this.

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