Bring Out the Best In Your Best

We’ve dusted off our hearts,  dressed them up and paraded them out for Valentines Day.  Love the day or hate it, there’s no escaping the focus on the heart – on sharing emotions – on kindness to those you care about.  Now that you’ve gone to all that fuss, why waste it on just one day? The more you use that spiffed up heart the higher the ROI – right?

Authentic, positive feedback is the secret weapon of skillful leaders

                       ………….but Beware……….

Continued use may inspire great performance & extreme loyalty!

Praise for doing good work is consistently listed as one of the top motivators for getting the right stuff from the best people.   In my experience with hundreds of leaders, positive feedback is the #1 thing employees want.  And the thing most lacking.   Extremely driven leaders may even feel “If you need to be patted on the back, you’re probably not strong enough.” Leaders like Michael Dell have discovered the hard way the destructive myth of this badge of honor  – says Dell, “I just didn’t get how important positive feedback is and how well high potential employees responded to attention as human beings, not mere abstract objects doing work.”

So here are tips to give just 10 minutes a week of feedback that is positive & authentic — unless it’s from-the-heart-real no tips will work! The investment is small and may seem like a little thing….from the other side the impact is enormous.  We do what we are rewarded for. We go the extra miles when we are appreciated and recognized.

1. One Size DOES NOT fit all:   While everyone needs positive feedback, what matters most to us (think motivates!) is as unique as our fingerprint. You MUST, MUST, MUST match the recognition to the individual.

2. Give frequently! The most effective praise is given at least every 7 days AND cites specific positive behaviors and impact.

3. Pay Attention!  Be intentional & observe carefully  to catch people “doing it right.” Don’t just wait for “big” things, ” What did they do today?

4. Consider personal style.
·         A highly intelligent introverted engineer might prefer a “thanks, good job” after the work is done and explicit freedom to make a key project decision.
·         A people centered, bright, extroverted sales manager might prefer a personal thanks and feedback lunch mid project, or visible praise.

5.SPECIFICS matter…Use the Situation, Behavior, Impact (SBI) Model
Make your feedback credible & free of the “too sweet” with clear details.
·         Situation: Describe the task, issue, event – what, when, where?
·         Behavior: What specifically did the person say or do?
·         Impact?  What is perception / impact? You, others, the goal?
·         Now what? What you would like them to keep doing?
EXAMPLE: “Thanks for staying late on Friday, it helped us meet the deadline and the customer already referred us. Great job!”

So give it a try – it may feel awkward at first, especially if it’s new for you, but stick with it and watch the reaction – I promise it will be worth the effort!

NEW from execudome! Here’s a takeaway “Q Card” to use as a reminder!