It is so easy to notice the negative aspects of some-one’s behaviour, especially if that person is a member of the team we are leading or managing. ‘The task must get done’ is often our emphasis. So, our theme for this week’s article is ‘let’s shine up the people’. We’ll most probably find that we’ll build positive relationships and get better results. This forms part of our ‘leadership development’ programmes.
It’s so easy to ignore or avoid people when they are not enriching our lives.
A story will put the message in context. When my children were young and I fetched them from school, I’d ask: ‘Who did you play with today’? Depending on their answers, my question might be, ‘And why didn’t you play with x’? Often the answer would be ‘Because they are horrible’ – or they’d mention that the other person had behaved in way that impacted negatively on them.
I would then take out a can of Brasso (shining agent) and my line of questioning would go like this – and it still does, for my adult audiences:
- If you had a beautiful shiny brass vase, like this one, and left it in a cupboard, without giving it any attention, what would happen to it in the ‘long term’?
(It would become tarnished.)
- So what might you do in relation to that vase?
(You may just leave it in the cupboard – it isn’t so attractive any more.)
(There is less chance you’ll ‘take it out and play with it’)
(You may even push it to the back of the cupboard and forget about it.)
- What happens the longer you leave it in the cupboard?
(It becomes even more tarnished and therefore less attractive. And it requires more work to shine it up.)
- So, if we were to take it out the cupboard, apply a bit of Brasso and spend a few minutes rubbing it, what would happen?
(It would begin to shine.)
(It would become more attractive again.)
(It reflects light and thus appears interesting from different angles.)
(We see the reflections of our own face when looking at it.)
The message is that the benefits of sincerely ‘polishing up the people’ are huge. Sometimes we need to take conscious action to notice our impact on others. The small things can make a big difference. By showing genuine appreciation we can raise a person’s energy and make life far more enjoyable for them – and for ourselves. The ripple effect on all aspects on individual lives and on teams is enormous.
So, ‘catch people doing something right’ and praise them immediately. You’ll enrich their lives and your own life, too. This is an important lesson in ‘leadership development’. For more information on this topic please contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: +27 33 3425432, Mobile: + 27 82 4993311.
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