Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Applaud Small Victories

Show appreciation for small accomplishments, to encourage greater ones. Don’t Take Away The Goody From Good Work

I heard this week about a manager who seems to be unable to say “Good job!”  or “Thanks!”  He always seems compelled to take the positive feeling out of even a compliment by pointing out a flaw or diminishing the good work of employees. 

When an employee proudly reported that she finished a project on time, he said, “Yeah? Well, I just hope you didn’t rush to the point that you made mistakes or you’ll have to do it again.”

When someone told him about how well a suggestion was accepted by a group, he said, “That’s just one group. There are a lot more groups to worry about than just one.”

When an employee brought work to him that was creative and essentially flawless, the manager looked at it and said, “This is pretty good. So, how come you don’t do this kind of work all the time?”

It doesn’t hurt you to let others have successes.

Don’t be like that manager! Don’t be like that with anyone–whether it is people you supervise, people who supervise you, people with whom you work, your family or anyone else. Let people have victories–even small victories that don’t seem significant to you. It won’t hurt you and it may be the very thing that gives the other person the incentive to move toward larger accomplishments.  It may be exactly what that person needs right at that moment, to give them a reason to keep going with work or with life.

The concept in Ken Blanchard’s books about catch people doing something right, has become a bit hackneyed, but it’s true.  It’s especially true when someone has an obvious expectation that they will be praised or that their efforts will be appreciated.  How sad when the goody is taken out of good work, for the sake of acting superior, to keep someone from getting a big ego, or for any other reason.

Anyone will notice gigantic achievements, but it takes someone special to recognize the small achievements that indicate attempts to grow, gain new skills, practice, or try to do something that is challenging. Encourage people to be proud of what they have done, even if you must guide toward improvement. The key is to leave the goody in what they have done right, while helping them make the rest of their work match that high quality.

Tomorrow, next week and habitually after that, look for small victories all around you and verbally applaud them. You’ll soon see even greater things to commend.

February 25th, 2010 Posted by | Challenging and Problematic People, Life and Work, Supervision and Management | 12 comments