As a leader of a team, I absolutely believe that encouragement and positive reinforcement are critical leadership techniques for building effective teams. I believe that a positive attitude is a key contributor to getting things done and that when you take it "off-road," you always should take the high road. I also believe that what is celebrated is repeated and that it all starts with clarifying the win. Let's dig in! >>PACE: Positive Attitude Changes Everything: When I, the leader, demonstrate and operate with a positive attitude, I have found that it absolutely rubs off on the team, customers and partners with whom I work. It takes much more energy to be negative and the affects are often long-lasting and consequential. When a team member does great work, I recognize them for it...publicly. When they make mistakes, we discuss what we learned from it and move on. We are a team.
>>When We Take It Off-Road, We Take The High Road: Our team works diligently to deliver business solutions that enable our business "customers" to make strategic and operational decisions that move the business forward. Our job is not to "fit in" to the way things have always been done (or follow the "system" thinking) but instead to consider all options in productively moving the business forward. I call this taking it "off-road" at times...and when we do so, we always take the "high road." Make the right decisions for our internal customers and the business. Ensure that we maintain the level of trust developed with our customers and colleagues.
>>What Is Rewarded Is Repeated: I have found consistently that rewarded behavior is repeated behavior. This is a simple concept that many of us have learned from having pets but in the workplace, it is especially true with talent management structures and performance review processes. Actions, behaviors and decisions that are rewarded, are repeated. Good behavior, leadership decisions and people-oriented actions are rewarded and recognized and this leads to their recurrence in the workplace. This is a crucial concept that many "drivers" or leaders that lack people skills, often overlook. We need to celebrate our wins and recognize those that go above and beyond.
>>Clarify The Win...And Complete The Play: In this case, what's first is last. It all starts with clarifying the win. In my team, we define individual performance objectives, individual talent profiles, career objectives, etc. In addition to these important goals and objectives, the team has identified personal "wins" that fall inside and outside the normal business workspace. For example, two of my team members have a desire to complete their MBA. One of my team members has a desire to be a better public speaker. Yet another has a desire to achieve Project Management certification. And yet another has a desire to learn a second language (Spanish). Some of these goals fall into the regular talent management routine - and some do not. In each case though, we have clarified the win. These "wins" must be either quantitatively or qualitatively measureable and something that can be reviewed throughout the year. Balance is important to success in life and in your career. Clarifying the win ensures that someone else does not clarify it for you. Most importantly, it is critical to complete the play. Follow through on commitments. Communicate results. Manage risks and changes to the plan. And ensure that we always stay focused on the organization and team vision.