Yesterday I was commended by the "top boss" for going over to a staff member and their family who were sitting by themselves at the employee appreciation BBQ last week and talking with them and inviting (well, playfully insisting) that they come over to the table where I was sitting at and join us. I was told that as the event planner that I was doing my job well by making sure that everyone felt included in the celebration.
That's all fine and well but what struck me was that I was being pat on the back for something that I would have done no matter what the situation was - not because it could be perceived as a part of my job. I know what it's like to feel left out and to be sitting alone hoping someone would come to include you. I know what it's like to not feel comfortable walking up to people I don't know that well and trying to join their conversation. I know I don't like feeling like that so I always try to make it a point to make sure others around me feel included. Honestly, I was surprised that nobody else stood up and walked over to them and asked them to come sit with them.
I guess what I'm saying is that as human beings we should treat each other as we would want to be treated and doing so shouldn't warrant a public acknowledgment of going above and beyond. I don't do what I do for recognition, I'm just glad I was able to make that employee and their family feel included.