There is a school of leadership that believes you don’t thank people for what they are paid to do. After all, they are being paid. Here’s the problem with that approach.
It takes about 4 positive statements to balance 1 negative statement. Sentences beginning with, “You screwed up,” cling to us while sentences beginning with, “I appreciate,” slip away.
See the bad but say the good
Here’s a challenge. For one day, withhold negative statements. Limit yourself to positive feedback. At the end of the day evaluate your attitude and the attitude of those around you.
Let’s take it one step further. Take four days and only affirm the behaviors you appreciate. Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about simply withholding corrective feedback. I’m talking about intentionally expressing positive feedback over the next four work days. If the 4 to 1 ratio is true, leaders should limit negative feedback to one day in a five day work week. It’s silly to apply the 4 to 1 rule so rigidly but I think you’re getting the point.
Limiting gratitude to exceptional behaviors creates a negative environment.
Leaders reach higher with positive talk. I suggest trying this with your spouse, children, colleagues, co-workers, friends, neighbors, even the mailman. Go home tonight and begin expressing appreciation for all the things you expect or take for granted. Your spouse may think you’re overcoming guilt from having an affair. At that point, show them this blog. ;-)