Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Positive strokes

One of the books I'm writing (Should I Sleep with the Boss?) is on the topic of enhancing your career. And a big theme running through it is how to influence others more effectively.

Did you know that most criticism falls on deaf ears? If you tell someone about a mistake they made in their work, perhaps an errand they could have done better, or something they didn't do at home, they may pretend to listen, but much of the time they are busily justifying it to themselves.

Instead, focus on giving positive feedback instead. Rather than criticising bad behaviour, try to focus on what people did right. If you're trying to get someone to behave differently at work or home, praise what they do right. Compliment them on it sincerely and show your appreciation for their efforts - do it genuinely and you will find they do more of the right behaviour. Eventually the good behaviours will replace the bad behaviours.

It's a small but potent difference. Try it.