Words of recognition pay big dividends

“Good words are worth much, and cost little.” – George Herbert

Recognize the behavior that you want to see more of – and you will get it! Behavior reinforced is behavior repeated!

Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? It also seems like it should be easy to implement.

It is.

But most of us don’t do it – enough.

Why not? 

Words come easy. Effective use of our words requires thought and effort. And… a plan.

Words of recognition, appreciation and encouragement pay big dividends. People want to do their best work. However, many managers don’t help their team members to do the best that they are capable of delivering.

It is easy to criticize. It takes time, effort and a plan to offer effective, constructive feedback. Here are the three key elements of that plan:

  1. To be effective, recognition must be timely. Offer your words of encouragement and appreciation as soon as your witness the action  or become aware of it.
  2. To be effective, praise must be specific. Saying, “Good job, Joe!” is not enough. Those are empty words. What job did Joe do? What, specifically, made it a good job? What specific level of “good” did Joe deliver? Try this: “Joe, thank you for delivering your monthly report ahead of schedule. I appreciate the effort that you put into clarifying your department’s action plan for the month.” It took more thought to say it this way. It required you to put more effort into it. But… I guarantee you that “Joe” will put even more effort into his work. He will appreciate your effort to recognize his efforts!
  3. It must be tied into your organization’s overal goals and objectives. Tell “Joe” why his good work matters. Connect the dots for “Joe” and the rest of your team.

Remember these words:

“Everyone wants to be appreciated.So if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.” – Mary Kay Ash

I, too, like to receive feedback on the articles that I post. Please take a few minutes to give me feedback. Tell me what you like – and why. What you don’t like – and why not? And help me to produce more of what you want to read about.

Follow the simple plan that I outlined here. It works! I guarantee it.


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