Are you too focused on telling others what they need to improve?

I was leaving my boss’s office and had almost reached the door when he said, “Bob, I like having you around here.”  In that moment, and with just seven words, my boss had provided powerful feedback. In less than five seconds, he let me know that he appreciated what I was doing. Yet, it was more than that. As I left his office, I remember feeling valued, motivated and confident that what I was doing was making a difference.

In my work with leaders on the subject of providing feedback, I tell that same story because I want to reinforce the importance of positive feedback. It is very easy to find ourselves in a routine that primarily focuses on providing feedback that calls out areas of improvement or weaknesses. While coaching others to improve in specific areas is certainly important for development and growth, it is also important to remember the powerful impact a few well-timed words of recognition or appreciation can have on people.

This week, make time to tell someone on your team or in your organization that you appreciate what they do or how they make a difference. This week pick up the phone or write a handwritten note and deliver some positive feedback. Your words will let someone know that you appreciate what they do, but the message they receive will be even more meaningful.

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