Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Get Over Yourself

(part 2 of  “Developing a staff that’s willing to go to war for you)

Share the Praise

Get over yourself. It’s not all about you. Nothing says appreciation more than positive recognition. When something goes right – let them know – compliment them for a job well done. Most employees only get recognition when they “screw up.” Negative recognition reinforces negative behavior, creates resentment, and stifles initiative. Positive reinforcement inspires creativity and goodwill and perpetuates positive energy.

Compliment them in private. If you call someone into your office and they have that “What the Hell Did I Screw up Now?” look on their face, you can be sure that you don’t have a raving fan here. If all a person enters your office for is to get reprimanded, you can bet they won’t enter your office on their own. This means there can’t be an “Open Heaven.”

But if you take the time to call them in to compliment them on their work or to ask their advice you’re telling them, “I’m here for you. We need each other.” This nurtures not only self-esteem in the individual, mutual trust between the two of you, and inspiration in the individual, it also sets the foundation for “Open Heaven.”

Compliment them in public. Nothing feels better than to receive kudos from your manager in front of your peers. This validates an employee and gives a sense of accomplishment, which will inspire not only him but also his peers to perform at higher levels.

Compliment them among the staff without the person present. This provides authenticity to your praise and demonstrates to the rest of staff that you are appreciative and genuine.

Make it real. Don’t lay it on too thick. Be honest, but be open. We often say to ourselves that “so and so” did a good job, but we don’t tell them and they are the ones who need to know.

Share the praise for big and even little things. Remember that when the department excels and receives recognition it is not you that did it – it’s your staff that did it. Give the credit and the praise to where it belongs – give it to them. Let your boss know that they deserve the credit. Let them know that they have excelled and that they deserve the credit. Too many managers “ride the backs” of their staff, basking in the praise while their staff feel used.

Share the praise in private. If a particular person or group of persons stand out, call him/her (or them) into your office and let them know that the “boss” (whether it be District Manager, VP, President, or CEO) knows of and was impressed with their accomplishment. This nurtures their sense of belonging and affirms them being part of the “bigger picture.”

Share the praise in public. Like compliments, this inspires everyone to perform at higher levels.

Don’t take the credit for big or even little things. Make it all about them. After all, they are the ones doing the work. Your job is not in doing their work but to assist them so they can do their work. By making it all about them, they begin to feel like part of the “department family” and begin to look out for and support one another.

No pictures of self — no plaques of self – no trophies – awards – or certificates. Be one of them. In an “Open Heaven” no one is better than anyone else – all are equal. Do keep a binder of your resume, degrees, certificates, awards, etc., because you will encounter the proverbial “know-it-all” from time to time who will question your qualifications!

Reply to “thank you” with “thank you.”

Reply to “You helped me so much,” with “But you did the work.” This assists them in ownership of their efforts, and position, and reinforces that they are capable.

In other words, if you are successful in “Sharing the Praise,” no one will notice you.

Exhibit the CORE Competencies – be the orange! Remember, you get what you give:

  • trust
  • integrity
  • honesty
  • openness
  • humility
  • empathy
  • willingness

(Do you do what you say you’re going to do?)

Remember them

If they are important then don’t forget them. Little things which mean something to them should mean something to you (birthdays, anniversaries, son’s graduation, etc.). Set your email calendar to send you an email warning a few days before an event and give a personalized card (no secretary signing) with a $5 Gift Card to Starbucks or whatever they’re interested in (in other words, Know Your Customer).

Stop at a stationary store and pick up twenty assorted blank cards. Periodically, fill out the card saying how much you appreciate a person’s work and them as an individual. Then sign it, “A Friend.” No name. Address it to them and casually leave it on their desk when no one is watching.

Standing up for your employees

If you want your staff to be willing to go to war for you, then you must be willing to go to war for them. When staff know you will defend them, support them, take the blame for them, and fight for them (whether it be with a customer or upper-level management) they develop trust in and allegiance to you as a manager.

– excerpt from “Inspiring Passion in Your Staff”


November 5, 2011 - Posted by | Counseling Techniques, Leadership Skills, Manager Development Tools, Mentoring, Personal Development | , , , , , , ,

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