Positive Reinforcement at Work

There is a mounting body of evidence from the positive psychology movement (Seligman) that focussing on what can be done, what worked well and how things can be improved all work a great deal better than focussing on what went badly, what hasn't happened and what is currently rubbish in the business.

Business is about making improvements and moving forward.  It's not about dwelling on the past and going into the second by second detail about how badly someone did on a task or project.

Learning from your mistakes is crucial in any personal or business development.  You cannot possible expect to get better at anything until you understand what went wrong and then focus on how to do things differently next time.

This last paragraph sounds like it contradicts the first two paragraphs doesn't it?

There is no contradiction if you use you words and your language effectively.  Here's and example;

I was working with a group today and we discussed writing Trip Adviser reviews.  The entire group told me they only ever wrote bad reviews because they didn't feel the need to write good reviews.  I told them I did the exact oppoisite because giving feedback on what you do well is more motivating than giving a whole load of negative comments.  You know this yourself because when someone "has a go" at you, you often shut down, get defensive and become less productive.  And when someone gives you useful feedback, you feel positive, you listen and you become more productive.

Something else happens.  Great people who are motivated in the workplace, will be their own worst critic.  Building a trust between you and your team or your colleagues will engage them more and promote their own sense of quality and productivity.  If it doesn't, then you're not employing the right people for that role (or you maybe asking the impossible).

I have not met a person yet who comes to work with the intention of performing badly or making lots of mistakes.  Poor performance and mistakes happen because we're human and are often exasperated by a "it's not my job mentality" But if you create a work place where people want to perform, want to do well and want to do a great job for your customers, this becomes infectious and poor performers will leave of their own accord.

Then, when things do go wrong (and they will), having that conversation which comes from a "what can you do differently next time?" is more honest, more equal and much more productive.  In other words, you create a positive upward spiral of engagement which in turn, increase productivity, which is what we all want.  Isn' it?

For coaching and training your people so their productivity increases, contact Rebecca, choose one of these three ways; rebecca@rebeccainspires.com, 07734 934084 or www.rebeccainspires.com