Eye-droppers vs. Buckets: Choose wisely

July 16, 2013


I’ve recently begun working with Dan. He’s been around the proverbial block. He’s smart, funny & connected. 
Up until last week, our relationship was one-to-one. I hadn’t spent much time with him in front of others.
And that’s the test... Other people.
It didn’t take long for someone to approach me about him.
“Dan told me about Red Angle - sounds pretty cool.”
I thanked him and we had some small talk.
As we closed out our brief encounter, he paused.   
“You know why everyone loves working with Dan?”
“He doesn’t give out compliments with an eye-dropper. He gives out compliments with a bucket, man. All the time. People need that to do their best work. You’ll enjoy working with him.”
What a compliment. 
What an analogy. 
Eye-droppers vs. buckets. 
As the pace of business seems to be accelerating, analogies like this can help us slow down.
Help us remember the basics. 
Business is about people.   
Leading people. 
Thanking people.
Encouraging people. 
Hispanic construction workers often receive zero encouragement and zero thanks.
Nada nada limonada. 
There could be multiple reasons for this, but the language barrier is first and foremost. 
Leadership is a numbers game. 
Increase your leadership capabilities by thanking Hispanic workers when they do a good job. 
It’s that easy. 
And so is the Spanish….
Start with these:
Thank you.
Eres un genio con las hojas. 
AY-rays oohn HAY-nee-oh kohn lahs OH-hahs.
You’re a genius with the drywall. 
Yes - it’s ok to have a sentido de humor (sense of humor). 
It helps take the edge off. 
You and them alike. 
Don’t leave the jobsite today without giving a compliment.
In English and Spanish.
Eye-droppers vs. buckets.
Choose buckets.
El Presidente

Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente of Red Angle, a Spanish language training firm focused exclusively on the construcción industry. Hartmann has been successful improving Safety, Productivity and Profitability by speaking Spanish on the jobsite. Hartmann lived in Guadalajara, México, during his undergraduate studies and later earned his MBA. Hartmann also teaches Construction Spanish at Purdue University’s Building Construction Management Program. He has authored two books: Spanish Twins: Start Speaking Spanish on the Construction Site with Words You Already Know and Safety Spanish: Simple Spanish Skills for Solving Safety Problems. Hartmann would love to hear your thoughts digitally at bradley@redanglespanish.com or at 630.234.7321.