I just spoke about LfE to some laboratory staff. There was an excellent question from the audience (paraphrased):
“I perceive excellence as rare and exceptional. As a ‘hawk’ this makes sense to me. Is LfE about capturing this stuff, or more about the everyday ‘good’ activities?”
In my answer I tried to articulate that excellence is subjective. It doesn’t come with a priori definitions. It also doesn’t have to be intimidating. We have thousands of LfE reports from our institution and the vast majority describe a simple episode of non-technical activity involving one or more colleagues. On the face of it these reports often seem to be descriptions of ‘people just doing their jobs. But in every case, there was something excellent about the episode, in the eyes of the reporter.
That is all that is required to trigger an excellence report. The positive feedback is powerful and informs the recipient about the impact of their actions, the extent of which is often not known by the recipient until the report arrives.
Hawk or dove, you can use LfE to show appreciation to colleagues, based on your own definition of excellence.