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4 Reasons Giving Positive Feedback Rewards

April 18 2011

happy girl 200pxI made someone`s day last week. How do I know? She told me.

I had a bit of time to kill before an appointment and I was starving, so I stopped off at a nearby deli for a quick bite to eat. I had my notebook with me and started to think about the content for the leadership course that I am coaching in a few weeks. I was looking for words to describe leadership skills. Coming up a bit short, I asked a waitress who was wandering around the following question: "What makes your boss a good leader?" She thought for a moment, and then proceeded to give me a list, which I wrote down.

After my meal, I bumped into the owner of the deli (the waitress's boss) and I shared my findings with her. She was absolutely dumbfounded and delighted. She wanted to know why I asked the question and who I was. She wanted to know what I do for a living and asked for my card.

It was a haphazard encounter, but it was one that was immensely rewarding and insightful for me. Events like this trigger epiphanies, and slowly they formulate strategies that turn into implemented ideas.

So what does all this have to do with everyday life? Everything.

Let's look at some of the lessons involved in the deli interaction:

Lesson #1: When you take the time to focus on someone, they are easily and naturally drawn to you. When you focus on what they are doing right, they can't help but do a double-take and pay closer attention to your message. Remarkably, few people are skilled at focusing on what is right in the world over what is wrong. The ability to exercise discipline in your attention to what you want is crucial to attracting the right people around you.

Lesson #2: Powerful questions, coupled with writing down the responses, can help people gain a perspective they have never previously considered. In fact, powerful questions can trigger reflection that will often result in dynamic action. Your genuine interest in them will provide tangible evidence that you truly care about their well-being and success and will ignite their own desire to succeed.

Lesson #3: Seeing someone's best qualities and sharing your perspective with them can have a dramatic effect on their self-perception. They begin to 'try on' your description of them to see if it fits and they begin to dabble with the idea of seeing themselves in the same light. Certainly, the impact on the relationship is tremendous.


Lesson # 4: Every day we make choices about the feedback we provide to others. The greatest gift in offering positive feedback is the feeling it leaves us with. There is no more significant way to positively impact the culture of your surroundings than by taking responsibility for your mood, and for your own state of mind. As often as possible, volunteer yourself to participate in the discovery and delivery of good news. The results will astound you!

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Happy Monday!