Becoming Our Best


In my experience as a follower, leader, team member and consultant, I have been fascinated with what it takes to motivate people to give their best at work. It appears that we can be forced to create and produce up to the 80% level, but after that, we must voluntarily give the last 20%. How can we tap into that last 20%? After much thought and study I have come to believe that people need positive encouragement, and at a higher level of frequency than we ordinarily give.

A ratio of 5 to 1 of positive reinforcements to negative comments seems about right to me, based on experience and research. I know that many of you are thinking, “How could I ever do that? People are making mistakes all the time!” Try this with your team members and see what happens:

• Be observant. We need to pay more attention to what people are doing, right or wrong.

• Be aware that culturally we tend to look for things that are not being done correctly. Start looking for things people are doing right.

• Mention how much you appreciate the person doing the job properly or putting in extra effort and time.

• Try putting 5 coins in your pocket at the beginning of the day. Move one coin to the other pocket for each positive comment you make. It will help raise your awareness.

Based on my experience, this 5:1 motivational tool is one that can get noticeable positive results. Try it for a week or two, both at home and in your workplace. You may be pleasantly surprised at what happens.

Author: Bruce Johnsen Management Consultant:
824 Munras Ave Suite G
Monterey, CA 93940

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