How many of you were raised on the practice of catching people doing something wrong? How many have carried that habit into our professional careers and workplace? We all would agree that focusing on the negative is not very inspiring. Working with today’s Millennials, who were raised in home environments where parents were much more likely to give positive messages should teach us all something.

A practical benefit of positive feedback is that it reinforces similar and desired behavior in the future. Think about your own life. When someone has congratulated, celebrated, recognized or appreciated you for something, aren’t you more likely to want to get that recognition again?

Studies show that there is even a biological happiness factor that is a personal reward for catching others doing something right.  The person who offers the uplifting message feels just as good as the person receiving it. It’s a win-win situation and how good is that!

Here are some tips on “how” to catch people doing something right. Remember, it doesn’t have to just come from managers. Team members should also be encouraged to catch people doing something right and give others positive feedback as well.

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  1. It needs to be genuine and authentic. Pretending does’t cut it. People know when it’s phony.
  2. Praise people when you see them doing it right. “Thank you!” “Good job!” “Well done!” You’re awesome!”  Do it right away and never wait to do it later.
  3.  Acknowledgment by being more specific. Include observable behaviors in your message such as what they specifically did that was positive. “Hey, great job in handling that guest problem. I saw how you showed empathy and took care of the problem right away.”
  4. Show appreciation– Tell someone how there behavior or actions were clearly the reason for bringing success. “Thank you for completing that project. You took the time to make sure it was done correctly and now your fellow team members will save a lot of time and be able to take care of our customers faster.” 

However you go about catching people doing things right, consistency and sincerity will produce many more moments of positive influence for those in your business and on your team. “Treat people like they make a difference and they will.” Now that is Magical!