How does one influence excellence within their team? Or themselves?
The highly experienced Dogz who have been around the block for 280-364 dog/human years (we kindly request no age discrimination) have always known that it’s important to train their humans to encourage each other. They know that when they are told “Good Dog” after an impressive performance, and better yet, “Good Dog” along with a tasty treat, life is really good. I mean, really, really good.
A bonus phenomenon occurs as follows…
Enthusiastic Dog wags his tail. He may even say, “That was fun. Let’s do that thing that gets me the “Good Dog” words and the tasty treat again.”
Can such a simple concept actually translate to achieving excellence in our human endeavors? Yes.
Psychologists know it. Brain experts know it. Leaders, parents, and teachers know it. Neuro-Google-Geeks know it.
The range of excuses include:
- Rewarding with tasty treats could get expensive.
- No time for that.
- It’s too awkward.
- No one says thanks or great job to me, so why should I compliment anybody?
- It might backfire. “I’m trying to whup her into shape for her trouble areas of performance, so encouraging her could counter those efforts”.
- It might cause team discontent. “If I give you a compliment in front of other people, then they will think I’m favoring you over them”.
- It might backfire. “You’re my competitor and I won’t get promoted over you if I give you compliments in front of other people”.
- It might backfire. ” I don’t want you to think you’re special because you might get all puffed up and stop trying so hard”.
Do any of those excuses resonate? Ahem. Well, skip any guilt or self-flagellation and just fix the problem. Also, understand the reality is that these fears can be justified on occasion. Why?
The nuances of insecurities inherent in our human ecosystem can keep cautious leaders, coworkers and team members in more of a no-action fearful state in lieu of rewarding their own people with kind words or a prize.
Ask yourself the following questions… Do you wish to influence excellence in your people? Do you hold back because you don’t want to get an employee’s hopes up that he will get a raise in addition to the nice words? Do you hold back because of your own insecurities? Do you hold back to accommodate jealousy and rivalry within your team? Does one of your employees look like your ex, so there’s no way in hell he or she will ever get a compliment from you?
Come on. Do it.
- Encourage others. Encourage yourself. Be sincere.
- Do the right thing. Let go of your own ego and any insecurities that keep you from authentically cheering on someone else.
- If it’s awkward, practice with these…. You Rock! Thank You! Way to Go! Great Job! Keep Going! I can’t believe you did that! A $5.00 lunch is on me! 🙂
- Change a culture of competitive insecurity into a positive, cheerleading vibe.
If your intent for encouragement is sincere, and your words are true, you could very well be amazed at the excellence that emerges from your team… and within yourself.
Great Job! Keep Going!
Find Yourself a Treat!