In my opinion a leader’s role with their team members is three-fold:

  1. Change behaviors
  2. Create an environment where people can be the best they can be
  3. Help people believe in themselves

Today I would like to concentrate on belief. Neuro-Science research shows us that the belief that you can do something is a better predictor of success than having the skills to do it (read more about this here). We all will know someone who achieved extra-ordinary things with limited ability, these people had a strong self belief, and in most cases this belief was instigated by a parent, leader or coach.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ― Albert Einstein

In relation to this great quote from Einstein are you being a “Good Finder” and noticing the skills where your team members excel and building them up for their work in these areas? Many leaders look at where team members do not shine and judge them on these.

If possible adjust their roles to put more of a focus on where they shine, believe in them and watch the awesome results! Belief matters because feelings matter, people are 80% emotional and 20% rational, if they respect you as a Boss they will want to excel and impress you.  They will never forget how you make them feel.

Engagement is all about feelings, and helping employees feel good will encourage engagement with you and your company. Engaged staff work harder and are more productive (watch this short video to find out more). You can improve engagement by focusing on the number one thing people desire “Recognition and Acknowledgement”.

All leaders should create a habit of daily recognition. Create a program that works for you and stick at it. I recognize at least five people daily and utilize the “sticky tab” routine. Here are some suggestions on how to remember to recognize:

  • Put five sticky tab flags on the right side of the telephone, transferring one to the left each time you recognize someone.
  • Put five coins in your pocket and transfer one to other pocket for each recognition act.
  • Keep five recognition cards on your desk and make sure they aren’t there at the end of each day.
  • Create a section in your weekly planner that lists people to praise and cross off as you catch them doing something right.
  • Leave voice mail messages on cell phones praising their efforts; they can play these messages for their family and friends. When giving praise, do not generalize.

Make it specific and meaningful:

  • You’ve made my day because…
  • You really make a difference by…
  • I’m impressed with…
  • You did fantastic with…
  • What a great job on…
  • What an example you set for the team when you…
  • You can be really proud of yourself for…
  • You deserve a “Ta Da” for…

Top performances certainly need to be recognized, but ensure you do not overlook the following:

  • Personal bests, individual and team
  • Positive behavioral changes
  • Top efforts from new people
  • Team players

There are lots of things a leader needs to do but in my opinion the most important are based on making their team members feel great. (You can read more ideas here in my post: The Ultimate Guide to Recognizing and Rewarding Employees Work on building belief in your people, then get out of the way and watch the excellent results!

By Ken Wright