Catching People Doing Things Right | #MyFridayStory No. 237

Catching People Doing Things Right | #MyFridayStory No. 237

It’s easy pointing out other people’s flaws and mistakes.

When was the last time you were told, “You’re doing a great job!”? When last did you say, “Well done” or, “Thank you for what you do” to one of your colleagues—or your boss? A simple statement of encouragement and praise like, “I’m so happy you are part of this team,” can ignite someone’s career.

The book Catch People Doing Something Right was released in 1999 by business consultant Ken Blanchard. He describes how the concept can transform the workplace. A few decades ago, this thinking was considered counter-intuitive. Today, the workplace has transformed with regulations and labour laws attempting to improve conditions.

In the Harvard Business Review article, Catch People in the Act of Doing Things Right, Bill Taylor, shares a good example of how caring improves business.

A large retail bank in the USA wanted its frontline workers to have a more human connection with their clients. To help create a human-centred service culture, the bank leadership reinforced positive behaviour. Front-line employees carry a ‘pledge card’ that lists the company’s service principles. When bank managers visit branches, they put a sticker on the back of the employee’s card when ‘caught’ doing things right. As their card fills with stickers, employees become eligible for prizes.

“The bank has built a legendary brand by persuading tens of thousands of front-line people to think of their jobs as ‘reattainment’—not just providing technically adept service, but keeping customers engaged, surprised, entertained.”

Sadly, we need consultants and books to tell us being kind is good for business. When your point of departure is catching people doing things right, your mindset is already positive. You’re primed to act with empathy and compassion. Breeding a service-oriented culture, centred on kindness and caring brings extra benefits. Employees enjoy the positive engagement they have with clients. Management has a more engaged and energised workforce. Clients reciprocate with loyalty.

Taylor concludes, “If we are eager to create environments where people routinely act their best, it’s up to leaders to bring out the best in everyone—to focus less on fixing what’s going wrong and to highlight and celebrate what’s going right. That’s how we get humanity back into business.”

Pointing out the flaws and mistakes of other people is easy—anyone can do it. Be careful. Finding fault with what people do or say can become a habit. Change your mindset to instead look for opportunities to praise and encourage. Look for ways to create positive encounters with empathy and compassion.

I promise most people will respond in kind.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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