“Doug loves a challenge!”
Strategic Discipline Blog
Did you realize when a customer says thanks, they make you happy, but they make themselves even happier. In her book The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor at the University of California, Riverside, describes a dozen scientifically proven strategies to make yourself happier. The first? Expressing gratitude.
Right now you should be deep into your annual planning or already have completed it. In preparing our coaching clients for annual planning we always ask the company to complete a short five question employee survey to gather information. Questions include what the company should start, stop and keep doing. (Send me an email Employee Survey if you’d like these five questions.) Discovery like this is important for the business in looking ahead. Remember the movie “Titanic?” “Iceberg dead ahead?” Many times the people at the tactical level of our business know much more than we give them credit for, and frequently they see the obstacles, challenges and opportunities far better than we or our mangers and departments heads can.
Imagine it’s the biggest moment of your life. Your opportunity for glory. The moment professionally you’ve practiced and prepared for. Now imagine it’s in front of a live audience and millions of TV viewers. In fact it’s the biggest stage in the world! It’s a critical moment for you and the people you work with.
Usually during tough times managers get tough. They succumb to the pressure and use more punishment and negative reinforcement. Why is this a recipe for disaster? If both positive and negative reinforcement get results why should we care?
We’ve looked at the importance and frequency of positive reinforcement in previous blogs, How the Best Managers and Leaders Deliver Positive Reinforcement and Employee Feedback – The Need for Frequent Positive Reinforcement. Employee Feedback falls into Strategic Discipline's fundamental practices for effective meeting rhythms. When we address customer and employee feedback in workshops and with our clients, frequently there’s confusion and misunderstanding about what this means. It’s often because companies have their rhythms with regard to employees and staff and forget how critical their happiness and engagement can impact the bottom line growth of their business.
How often do you need to reinforce? Dawn of Impatience shares Aubrey Daniel’s Bringing Out the Best In People’s view why since 1984 the influence and commitment to positive reinforcement has steadily increased.
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.