All kinds of people crave attention.
If you give people lots of attention, praise, pats, undivided focus, and warm fuzzy feelings for doing good stuff, they are less likely to do bad stuff.
In other words,
catch them doing something right
Stephen Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about the “emotional bank account”. You have an emotional bank account with every person you have a relationship with, including your staff.
And just like a regular bank account you occasionally make deposits and take withdrawals on that emotional bank account.
A deposit would be a pat on the back, giving a pair of movie tickets for going the extra mile, a genuine “thank you for the great work you do”, or even just a sincere smile.
A withdrawal is anything negative, such as a scolding, a more formal disciplinary action, or something as seemingly innocent as ignoring the good work someone does.
Who am I supposed to catch doing good stuff?
Answer: Everyone Around You
You’ve probably heard that you should catch your employees (or your kids) doing something right. And you should!
Also, catch your customers doing something right. If a customer refers a friend to your business, send them a card, a gift certificate, or call them with a sincere “thank you!” It’s only one example of catching your customers doing something right.
Catch your neighboring businesses doing something right. If they are keeping customer-friendly hours, shoveling their sidewalks, or planting flowers do you stop and say thank you?
What about your Chamber of Commerce, DDA, city government, or trade organization? Pat them for the good stuff they do, too.
What is the “good stuff” I’m supposed to catch them doing?
Answer: Lot’s of Simple Little Things
If you think you need to wait until someone does something extraordinarily good to give them some attention, think again.
Catch them doing simple things right and let them know you appreciate it. The world revolves around little gestures.
Make a point of catching people doing things right. Give your employees, customers, service organizations, neighbors, friends, spouses, and children the attention they crave.
How many deposits should I make in the emotional bank account?
Answer: 10 Deposits for Every Withdrawl
Covey contends, and I agree, that to have a positive relationship with a person you must make 10 deposits into the emotional bank account for every withdrawal.
Luckily, it’s easy and fun to do.
Actively look and listen for things going well.
At work it might be a great sale, picking up the garbage by the front door, carrying a package to someone’s car, making their sales goal for the week… the possibilities are endless.
At home it might be emptying the dishwasher, sharing with a sibling, helping a friend, taking out the trash without being asked (that is a big one!), etc.
In your community, it might be thanking an associate in a business that gives you great service, acknowledging a good deed from a neighbor, posting something positive onFacebook, etc.
You’ll be amazed at how many big changes can come from little things rewarded.
Here’s a challenge to you
Catch at least five people doing something right today and give them a big pat on the back. When you get in the habit of catching people doing things right, you’ll find yourself surrounded by happy, positive people.