Appreciaton Feels Goofy

“But I am not the kind of person who is all warm and fuzzy,” explained Justin. “If someone does a good job, that is what they get paid for. Why do I have to get all blubbery? It just feels goofy.” We were talking about the difference between positive and negative reinforcement.

“As a manager, when someone makes a mistake, do you have to correct them?” I asked.

“Well, yes. That’s what a manager does.”

“And when you correct them, do they do it right, or do they just do it well enough not to get yelled at?” I prodded.

“It’s strange, in the short run, they do better, but it doesn’t take long for them to backslide, take a short cut on a process, skip a step. It keeps me pretty busy, checking their work.” Justin wasn’t being defensive, just very matter of fact.

“So, it feels funny, giving honest and sincere appreciation, but it feels okay providing a little negative feedback?”

Justin grimaced. He didn’t like the way that sounded. “I suppose you are right,” he agreed. “But that is just the way I am.” In a way, he felt justified, even sat up straighter when he said it.

“I appreciate your honesty, Justin.” I smiled.

Justin couldn’t help it and cracked a smile back. “I thought you were going to tell me I was politically incorrect.”

“I am looking for something much more than political correctness. Being politically correct won’t make you a better manager. That’s why I focused on something more powerful, your honesty. Honesty will make you a better manager. Honest and sincere appreciation. Meet me here tomorrow and we will make that connection.” -TF

2 thoughts on “Appreciaton Feels Goofy

  1. kurt

    In out country, we’re not educated to give positive feedback, not even at school. And it’s so much easier to see the faults of someone then to see his/her strenghts. Seems to be one of the big differences between continental and US way of living….

    Modern education seems to change in positive feedback. Hopefully the next generation of managers gets their people to smile in a more natural embedded way.

    Out of experience, I know of meself I perform better when people start to give me positieve feedback rather than being a bully.


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