A Great post by Dan Rockwell.
For many, it’s easier to talk about what sucks than what’s great. There’s a negative voice in our heads. Personally, you can’t speak well of yourself. Why?
- Humble leaders don’t brag. They talk about the strengths and successes of others.
- Considerate managers don’t demean others. They don’t want to make others feel inferior by outshining them.
- Wise leaders avoid the humble-bragging. It’s obvious, offensive, and ineffective.
A culture of beating down:
We beat down others because we often beat down ourselves.
Negative feedback feels more substantial than positive affirmations. Most leaders feel more effective when giving criticism and less effective when giving positive feedback*.
In truth, many leaders don’t give any feedback at all. No feedback also feels like beat down too.
A culture of affirmation:
Imagine a culture where affirmation exceeds correction by three times!
What concerns you?
- Affirmations feel frivolous or fake, especially when people have weaknesses?
- People might feel they’ve arrived and stop giving their best?
- Your status might go down if you affirm others too much?
- Giving too many affirmations might make you look weak and needy?
You can’t energize people and beat them down at the same time.
Affirm team members’ humanity. A leader told me that one of the simplest things she does receives the most positive feedback. She sends birthdays & anniversary cards. She sends them in the mail with hand written addresses. All are hand signed. Many use personal notes.
A culture of affirmation treats people like human beings, not tools.
3 ways to move toward a culture of affirmation:
- Invite team members to tell you about their accomplishments in private. Give feedback that affirms accomplishments.
- Have team members encourage one another in meetings. “When I see you at your best I see you…”
- Honor effort not just results.
How might leaders create a culture of affirmation?
When might affirmation go too far?