Business owners who are solidly focused on moving their company to ever higher levels of profitability are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve their business model. To achieve this requires a discerning awareness regarding what is – and is not – working in the daily operations of the business. However, there is a potential trap here.
If, as the business owner, you are so focused on what is “wrong” in your current business model that you fail to see all that is actually being achieved and accomplished, and how far the business has progressed over time, you will squash the moral of your team members with a lack of praise and a preponderance of criticism.
While this approach may get you some short–term results that you are looking for, over time team members will come to feel less and less excited about being a part of what you are trying to do with the business. This, in turn, will limit the upside potential of the business itself, and therefore, the prosperity that you are working so hard to create.
On the other hand, when you offer constructive praise and recognition to your valued team members – while also working to continually enhance how the company operates – you will reap your greatest rewards. Why? Because when people feel good – even great – about the positive steps they are making and the work they are doing, they are encouraged to stay the course. Just consider how great it feels to you when you receive an award or are honored for your own hard work!
The majority of all human beings thrive on praise and recognition. To understand this more clearly, consider two very different situations involving a child. When a child is praised for a job well done they light up and get excited. This is widely apparent in their body language. When this happens repeatedly, they grow more self-confident over time, take on challenges with greater initiative and passion, and they become more adept at whatever it is they are doing. In other words, they are motivated in a positive way to learn, grow and become more.
Conversely, when a child truly gives their best and is met with criticism in the form of what they did wrong and what they should have done better, they are left feeling defeated, inadequate and not good enough. If you have ever been a part of a situation like this you know how devastating this experience this is. Again, defeat is written all over their face. Commonly, this leads to a lasting and lifelong reality of negative self-perception, diminished self-confidence, resentment and lack of drive or determination.
It is imperative to understand that this desire for praise and recognition does not change simply because we grow older. The desire to feel good about ourselves and the efforts we put forth does not leave us as we move into the world of work. As a business owner it is wise to get a firm hold on this understanding, and to make changes in your perspective so that you will come to offer the praise and recognition that your team members yearn for – and need – to continue advancing.
When the team members in any business are supported in constructive ways, both in a job well-done and in those areas that are in the process of improvement, they will perform at higher levels simply because they feel valued. When you give others what they want, they are more likely to give you what you want, and everyone is happier.
Once I teach business owners how to lead from a position of composure and with a balanced perspective, they work with their team in new, dynamic and powerful ways. This in turn, allows them to build the empowered team that produces the very prosperity they are looking to achieve. In your unending pursuit of success and a finely tuned business, don’t forget to “grease the wheels” that make your success possible with well-deserved praise and earned recognition.