Pavlov’s experiment with dogs around positive reinforcement all those years ago, still hold true to us mere mortals years later.
People would still rather operate in a towards state rather than away state(otherwise known as flight or fright.)
As leaders it’s a vital component that we focus far more on catching your team members doing the right things and giving recognition to them for this.
So many old school authoritarian style leaders (insert: manager here) spend a good two thirds’ of their time abusing their teams mostly because that’s how they were misled! When you promote and reinforce good behavior, attitudes and performance through reward and acknowledgement, you start to pay the good stuff forward. Regardless of age, when you experience verbal abuse or focused attention on the negatives or the things you’re doing wrong, you end up hating what you do and often hating yourself. Nobody deserves this. Stop the cycle and flip things on the head. Within days of a conscious decision to reward and recognize achievements and improvements, you will see the tide starting to turn.
It’s never too late. At first, those who have learnt to live with the abuse (like battered spouses) will appear cynical and very weary of this change in leadership style. And who can blame them? When you’re used to the master beating you every day and suddenly he’s feeding you chocolate treats….well, anyone would be suspicious!
Wide ranging research has shown that during performance reviews, over 75% of managers focus on areas of development and only 25% on identifying how one can build on strengths! Over time, this shows up as a fear-based and destructive environment. Creativity, fun and organizational spirit can’t thrive let alone survive in this type of environment. Like a pot plant needs water, nutrients and sunshine, it also needs love and attention.
To truly unleash human potential, leaders of today need to take stock of how they are showing up in the workplace. What is their way of being? Are they the type you can picture beating their children or spouses at home, or are they nurturing and supportive? How you show up outside of a working environment is more often than not a clear indicator of what happens during office hours.
Be cool. Be positive. Be a successful leader. SIT!
On September 11th 2001, 341 firefighters perished in that infamous terrorist attack. Most of them knew they were on a one-way ticket when they entered the Trade Center buildings. The selfless commitment shown by thousands of support personnel has become a case study for bravery and motivation. But what flicked their self-preservation switches that day to continue on into the towering infernos?
Motivation comes from a myriad of places. A sense of duty, passion, love or even hate. The latter clearly induced the hijackers that fateful day.
Tapping into a team member’s psyche is crucial in understanding what triggers theirmotive into action. Unfortunately most managers approach this topic in a one-size-fits-all fashion. Assuming either it’s financial reward or recognition is a fatal flaw. It’s not all just about a carrot or a stick, but it is about finding the most appropriate way of lighting a fire under somebody.
When there is a deeply personal drive to either move towards a goal, or evenawayfrom an outcome, the need to mushpeople with whips or motivational videos becomes redundant. Unpacking what that is, can be the hardest part though. The reality is 95% of people in leadership positions don’t have the skill set to coach or even the inclination.
Time is actually never a factor because if you truly have a vested interest in making others successful, you’ll make the time.