Leaders who are positive and encouraging have more productive teams.
That is a fact.
When done right, a leader’s praise and recognition is more motivating than money. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
Maybe your mom said that too. I never really believed it until I became a leader, beginning with my first team at work more than ten years ago and continuing with my family today.
When I first became a leader in 2002, I was (trust me, this isn’t an exaggeration) ruthless, negative, and discouraging. I caught every mistake, pointed them out to team members in front of others, fired people on the spot, and rarely, if ever, encouraged my team members. In other words, I sucked as a leader.
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Yikes! I have the power to make someone cry.
That realization came to me on a long walk with a good friend and colleague of mine. We were discussing our business and he told me the story of how earlier in the week something he said to a team member made her cry. That made him realize the magnitude of his position as CEO. He was suddenly aware that he had great power and began to wield that power more carefully.
One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to be oblivious to how he/she makes a team member feel.
Let me restate that: One of the biggest mistakes I made as a leader was to be completely oblivious to how my team members felt.
I was 28 at the time my friend told me his story and the world, I thought, still revolved around me, so I pocketed that little nugget and moved on with life. Thankfully I still remember that lesson.
Around that time I had just about perfected the art of making team members cry. The sad thing is that I was completely oblivious to it. Sure, I knew that I sucked as a leader, but I had no concept of the impact I was having on their lives and their emotions.