Most of us enjoy a good sandwich. You probably even have your favorite sandwich, and favorite place to eat it. A favorite method of constructive criticism that is widely taught in basic supervisory training is called the “sandwich.”
Strategic Discipline Blog
Have you ever had your spouse, a supervisor or manager say something like the following to you? “Doug you did a great job on …., but you really need to work on…...”
Maybe it’s because my first measurement of my common sense came from a personality test designed to evaluate my sales capabilities and it exposed me as being naive. Naiveté is the exact description for what I had in their test. In the Objective Management Group of Sales Evaluations we use today (much more scientific) this measurement might have been classified as being too trusting of clients (believe prospects are honest) or not asking hard questions, which is a Hidden Weakness for Record Collection and Emotional Involvement.
We’ve discussed positive reinforcement many times in this blog including my last one on Grandma’s Rule and How the Best Managers and Leaders Deliver Positive Reinforcement.
Thursday of last week my Doctor used Grandma’s rule for positive reinforcement on me to ensure I was able to go home on Friday. “As long as you don’t get a fever or have any other complications overnight, we’ll be sending you home tomorrow.” He offered.
At the close of Monday’s blog, “Can Routines Really Set You Free?” I promised to discuss a myth that Aubrey Daniels addresses in Bringing Out the Best in People.
Each of us is different. We are not all motivated by the same thing. It’s a lesson that Aubrey Daniels consistently reinforces in Bringing Out the Best in People. It’s the reason managing people is so challenging. It requires thoughtful observation, persistent communication and enduring energy to discover and maintain relationships that support and encourage your people to be their best each day.
Small things add up. When it comes to producing results from positive reinforcement a small difference influences results dramatically. Most effective leaders, managers, and supervisors do not necessarily reinforce more often than ineffective ones. It’s the detail of what they focus on that makes them better. Discipline to this detail compounds over time. It delivers steady pressure on the fly wheel which Jim Collins notes distinguishes the Good to Great companies. Eventually it provides the impetus to breakthrough. There is no miracle moment. Breakthrough only comes through daily discipline of doing the right things right.
How are you feeling about your business today? We invest a great deal of time and energy on the Strategic Disciplines of meeting rhythms, metrics, priorities, and work process flow charts. These are all objective elements to running a successful business. There is another perhaps more subtle yet just as critical aspect to running a successful business and that is the subjective - the raw emotions that it takes to provide the energy that drives your business.
If your business and specifically your people are producing the wrong outcomes it’s very important that you understand this. Every company is getting the performance it should be because it’s reinforcing that performance with what it is currently doing. If you’re not happy with what you’re getting you need to put consequences in place that stop these outcomes and then put new consequences in place to positively reinforce the new outcome you want. The bad news is you’re reinforcing the wrong things or you wouldn’t be getting that performance. The good news is you can change it with some diligence.