Catch Them Doing Right

At Advoco, we encourage people to read because leaders are readers. We also encourage them to write down their thoughts and share them as part of our a-Minute blog series.


This week, I want to share a recent a-Minute from one of our leadership team members. I found it especially motivating because we don’t take enough time to praise people and thank them for doing something right. Thanks, Sherry for sharing this with us.


Here is the a-Minute piece, from Sherry:


I just finished reading Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. In the book she highlights a concept from the book One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard. The concept is simple: catching people doing things right is much more powerful than focusing on behaviors that are wrong.


Too often in life, at work and at home, we spend time focusing on catching people doing things wrong. We focus on the negatives, looking out for missteps and mistakes, instead of searching for the positive.


This concept reminds us to appreciate those around us. To be grateful for the people that are working hard to help.


A great example of this played out recently in my neighborhood. A young boy was receiving continuous negative feedback from a couple of the neighbors. I live in Florida, so in early Spring, this young man is one of the only kids in a summer seasonal driven area. He is also at an age where boredom opens the door for creative activities not all might appreciate.


One morning as I walked my dogs, I saw him carting an elderly neighbors’ garbage cans up a long driveway to the garage. This neighbor happened to be one of frequent complainers.


I stopped and thanked the young man for being so thoughtful and helping out a neighbor. He told me that it was no big deal and he knew the neighbor hadn’t been feeling well.


It turns out the recipient of this kind act hadn’t known who was bringing in his garbage cans for weeks. Upon learning of who was helping out, the neighbor expressed his thanks directly to the young man. The two have since become friends, spending time fishing and keeping each other company. The young boy so appreciated the positive feedback and is now doing lawn work and other helpful things for the grateful man.


In this situation, when we focused on the good and celebrated someone doing things well, the whole narrative shifted.


This kind of thinking improves moral, builds trust, and increases productivity. As Ken Blanchard explains in his book, “People who feel good about themselves produce good results, and people who produce good results feel good about themselves.”


So, let’s make good by helping others feel good!


Until next time…I'm Marty, make every minute count


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