It is easy to find fault – with ourselves and with the work of our teams. A critical eye is what allows leaders to find the opportunities and correct the liabilities in their people and processes. Everyone can miss a deadline, miss the point, or miscommunicate. Everyday something goes wrong…and we focus on it so we can fix it.
The challenge is this: what we focus on grows.
If all we focus on is what is missing and what was missed, we rob ourselves of the chance to develop in our people their biggest asset: their enthusiasm. We also fail to give people the chance to know, clearly and specifically, what works.
Catching people winning is not the same thing as offering praise. “Atta-Boy”, “Congratulations!”, and “Thank You” are not enough. When I encourage clients to catch people winning, I ask them to take intentional time, every day, to stop and:
something specific that is being done right. When someone does something well; meet a deadline, make good progress on a project, develop a strong plan, or deliver a great performance in a key meeting, and we let them know on the spot, specifically, what went right, we Catch People Winning.
When we catch people winning we feed them two essential ingredients for success: enthusiasm and wisdom. Offering specific feedback when people get things right increases their energy and grows their wisdom and insight. They learn what you value and that you notice the efforts and advancements they make.
Why does this matter? In a word: Trust. People trust people who notice and acknowledge the work they are doing. Catching our people winning grows their inner confidence and grows their trust in us. They have greater assurance of their own skills and greater confidence in themselves and trust in the relationship they have with us, their leader. Trust develops and trust is a key ingredient to achieve exceptional pace, productivity, and performance.
When people on our teams experience us noticing and celebrating their achievements, they begin to believe we are invested in their successes and, as a result, our credibility grows.
Catching people winning arms leaders with trust and credibility, offers our workforce a dose of enthusiasm and, together, these create the ideal environment to develop and coach our people for better and better performance.
The dividend of Catching People Winning is their responsiveness. It is much easier for our people to act on new challenges when they have strong enthusiasm for their work. It is much easier for our people to hear difficult feedback from us when they believe we are interested and invested in their success. Catching People Winning creates the environment for performance excellence.
All we have to do is stop and notice what is going right. It is happening around us all the time.
Catch someone winning today. Go find 3 great things and recognize the person today. You will feel more successful yourself when you do.