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Want Something to Grow? Feed It

What would you like to increase in your team? Perhaps you would like to see more cooperation, collaboration and ownership. You might wish for certain team members to be more focused on customers, both internal and external customers. Maybe an increase in efficiency and production is what is needed.

Here’s a leadership reminder …. If you want something to grow, it needs to be nurtured and fed. In the world of human capital, food is attention and focus. In your interaction with your team, what is the focus? Is it primarily on what they are doing well, and where they have made progress, or is it on their mistakes and shortcomings? What you feed grows.

In the words of Ken Blanchard in his classic book One Minute Manager, we need to catch people doing things right. Often leaders, managers, and coaches feel that their primary job is to fix situations and people. Most managers usually recognize the need for positive encouragement and affirmation, but never quite seem to get around to it.

My coaching challenge is to turn things upside down. Make it your primary goal look for what people are doing well, and where they are improving, and focus your communication on that. When it becomes necessary to offer corrective feedback, always deliver it in a context of appreciation and encouragement. Your recognition and confidence in your team is food and fertilizer for their improvement and growth. You will always find what you look for, and what you find and share will grow.

Certainly, there are times that you must correct mistakes and confront problems. However, I encourage you to let your organizational system, values and scorecard be the heavy, and you be the encourager.

People who feel good about themselves do a good job, and those who do a good job feel good about themselves. Your mission is to catch people doing a good job, and them let them know about it. What you feed grows.


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