“If it wasn’t for all the hassles with staff the job would be easy!” …. Ever caught yourself saying that or even thinking it?
If so, you are not alone. It is something I hear from managers all the time.
So what are the tools you need to discover (or re-discover) to help you manage and motivate your team .… without feeling totally drained from your efforts?
Here are four simple suggestions:
- Catch your people doing things right and praise them for it:
I first read this in Ken Blanchard’s book ‘The One Minute Manager’, which was published way back in 1983, and it’s the best piece of management advice I ever received.
Whether as a parent or as a manager many of us feel our main task is to correct inappropriate behaviour. If we really want our children or our employees to develop their potential we need to reinforce appropriate behaviour. In other words, constantly be on the lookout for people doing things right and praise them as soon as possible and as specifically as possible.
- Enthusiasm is contagious. Spread a positive virus throughout your workplace:
Make sure the vibes you give off are positive vibes. If you are negative your people will be negative. Look for the positive in every situation. Treat every problem as an opportunity. Make sure your glass is half full rather than half empty.
You may not be able to change your circumstances but you can change your attitude to them. And, when you do that your people notice and gradually they catch the positive virus.
- Create an environment where people catch one another doing things right:
If you follow steps one and two you won’t sound like a hypocrite when you gather your team together and talk about the importance of maintaining a positive atmosphere at work.
Explain to your people the benefits of catching one another doing things right. Explain that while many of us don’t accept praise very well we all like a genuine compliment. So, the more we praise one another the better we will all feel.
Emphasise the danger in getting caught up in negativity. There is too much negativity in social media and on the news. We don’t need to cram our head with it at work and our customers don’t need to hear it from us. Let them whinge about the traffic jams, or the state of the economy if they want but don’t get caught up in it. Instead live by the motto “If you see a customer without a smile give them one of yours.”
- At the end of the day focus on the positives:
When you are driving home at night are you thinking about the three best things that happened at work that day? Or is your mind replaying over and over again the one, two or three worst things that happened?
By all means learn from your mistakes but don’t dwell on them. Instead focus on the positives. Mentally catch yourself doing things right and congratulate yourself. Then and only then have you any chance of motivating your team.
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