“There’s a widespread belief that if you have solid self-esteem you don’t need outside affirmation and praise. This is patently untrue, by the way.” Harriet Lerner
In leadership one of the most important jobs you will have is to not demotivate people. There is a myth leaders can freely give out advice and feedback. Nothing could be further from the truth. Successful leaders focus on the natural talents and innate drive of individuals that is reinforced with positive feedback. This type of focus increases their capabilities and attitudes to support the whole.
While this seems simple, it can be very hard for leaders as they become distracted by the problems and issues of the day-to-day.
“One person may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born.”
Positivity overwhelms negative comments. A negative comment primes for failure, while a positive compliment does the opposite. There is something called the “Losada Line” which dictates that there is a point of about 3.94 compliments to criticisms given out by management which encourages a desired level of efficiency among staff. More compliments is better for efficiency.
It turns out human beings from all cultures, in all walks of life, and in all positions respond better to positive feedback vs negative feedback. This is what builds success.
“The smallest thanks is always worth more than the effort it takes to give it.”
Below are a few techniques for building a positive and proactive environment:
1. Write down the natural talents and skills of each team member and define how that actively supports your business/organization/goal
2. Provide specific positive feedback to one team member a day on how their skill, passion, ability, focus, competency, etc supports the goal
3. If you are stuck in a problem, ask a team member for their input and ideas
4. In group meetings ask the following questions: What is working and how does it support the goal? Ask what do we need to focus on to move closer to the goal?
5. Thank people specifically, in all forms of communication, for the efforts that contribute to the goal
6. Make a list of the people you connect with regularly and think about what they bring to you. Send them a note, call them up, and thank them, regularly, for the effort and focus they provide on your behalf.
Maintain a positive and productive environment by taking time to pause each day to consider the contributions of others and the impact their work is having on the team and/or goal. Turn those thoughts into action by saying a simple thank you.
If you are frustrated by what people are not doing, focus on what they are doing and see how you can make that work to support your goals.
“A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things.”
Focus on the strengths,