Compliments of bossco via Flickr

Leaders and managers in great organizations go out of their way to catch people in the act of doing something right.” 

Roach argues that matters on which we focus expand and grow bigger. He refers to mental imprints as small acorns which (over time) can multiply into “gigantic twisted oak trees” and “voracious fish which grow fatter.” 

Our own attention can be diverted, magnified, or repositioned depending on what we hear from other people.

As a manager, your workforce puts tremendous weight on what you say.

Discourse that’s forward looking will engender positive feeling. Continual suggestions to the contrary are likely to produce unwanted output.

What we ruminate on becomes our legacy. Well planned compliments, encouragement, helpfulness, and a healthy dose of “cheerleading” will generate thoughts of how to further contribute. Below is some specific advice:

  • Be cognizant of what you’re unearthing with a casual remark. If you manage a large number of people, one or two sentences may not seem like a big deal to you – but depending on the content, they could have a devastating impact on someone else. Realize that you have many direct reports, but in most cases they only have one manager. Everything you do is magnified in their minds accordingly. 
  • Make a point of acknowledging your appreciation. As Sarah Ban Breathnach explains, gratitude attracts more of the same. In her book Simple Abundance, she suggests a shift in consciousness is necessary to transform our everyday focus. What in your office is going well on which you can capitalize?
  • Don’t activate memories that will simply spur people in the wrong directionaway from productive pursuits. Employees need to be pumped up to perform, and it’s impossible to see what’s ahead if their head is turned backward. What matters is what’s transpiring at this moment, and future plans to improve. Set your compass on the true north of seeing things as they are.
  • Ultimately, our core beliefs comprise our perceptual framework. If you’re paranoid, or operate from Theory X where you think workers are sloppy, lazy, crafty, and inept, perhaps you need to replace your opinions with a more Theory Y (employee centric) emphasis. Remember that other people are many times our best teachers.
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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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