The Romper Room Effect

Posted on 28. Jan, 2011 by in Blog, Leadership and Development

In 1952, a new “kiddie learning show” show was launchedRomper Room.  Syndicated across the country and shown in England, Ireland, Japan and Australia, the show provided a much needed ‘time out’ for weary parents as their children sat, eyes glued to the TV.  The preschoolers interacted with their televisions, audibly answering  questions when asked such as, “Did you know the horse was brown?”

Tiny squirming children would wait  patiently (or not so patiently) for the highlight of the show, the closing scene where Miss Nancy (the original host out of Baltimore)

or Miss Debbie, Miss Susan, Miss Sally, etc. would position her magic mirror in front of her face, look directly into the camera, and recite  the names of  the good boys and girls she could see that day.

Some children would jump up and down in front of the TV, attempting to get Miss Whoever’s  attention as the roll call began,

“I see Sarah, I see Bobby, I see Suzie…”  And 40 years later , “I see Michelle, I see Tiffany, I see Tyler, I see Brandy” – you get the idea.

(Nope – I never heard Denise. -Ahh the agony!)

Which, years later leads us to the Romper Room Effect in leadership.

As a leader, how many times have you had the opportunity to hold up the magic mirror?  A way to see people that are doing good things, just waiting to be noticed?

That employee wanting you to notice  he is doing a good job.  That volunteer wanting you to recognize  the hours she is putting in makes a difference.

Did you see him/her? Did you offer a thank you? A “good job” comment?

The recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report  indicates that the number of people leaving their jobs, not affected by a layoff is up by 6%.

Up in an otherwise down economy.  Why? Many cite their boss as a primary reason for exit, along with lack of opportunity for contribution, or loss of confidence in senior management.

Most reasons for leaving are concerns about how they are viewed, treated – noticed.  [note: compensation is hardly ever noted as the reason to leave.]

What about you? As a leader, do you see and value the people vying for your attention??

If not, perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror.

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3 Responses to “The Romper Room Effect”

  1. Linda Ramirez 3 February 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Miss Nancy never said Linda either:(

    I completely agree Denise that taking just a few minutes to email or say how much you appreciate someone’s help or how valuable they are to the project goes a long way. I’ve experienced this as the leader giving it out as well as being on the receiving end. Authentic recognition is key!

  2. T-rex 13 February 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    The one thing I’ve learned as a manager over the years is that it’s all about the people. Support them and make sure they know you value their contributions. When I’ve strayed from this, I’ve fumbled as a leader. A wise person taught me to remind myself that IT’S NOT ABOUT ME! That little reminder always keeps me in the right frame of mind and opens my eyes to what the people are doing.


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