Ken Blancard:"Catch People Doing Something Right."


I believe the key to developing employees and building a great organization is to wander around and catch people doing things right. This is a powerful management concept that isn’t used as often as it should be. Unfortunately, most leaders tend to focus on the things that are being done wrong so they can fix them.

The best way to start this habit is to take an hour out of your week to just walk around and observe what goes on in your organization. I know you’ll see several examples of people who are doing the right thing: conducting business with corporate values in mind. When you see this happening, praise the individual.

Remember, though—effective praising has to be specific. Just walking around saying “thanks for everything” is meaningless. If you say “great job” to a poor performer and the same thing to a good performer, you’ll sound ridiculous to the poor performer and you’ll demotivate the good performer.

For example, in a retail environment you might see an employee walk with a customer to a different location in the store in order to show the customer where to find a certain item. An effective praising would sound like this: “Mary, I noticed just now how you put the customer first by taking her to the merchandise she was looking for instead of just pointing in the general direction. That is an excellent example of living by our values. Keep it up.”

This principle can also help relationships flourish at home. If your school-aged child makes his bed or does his homework without being asked, let him know right away that you notice and appreciate his efforts. Be timely and specific with your praise.

Catching people doing things right provides satisfaction and motivates good performance. So remember: give praise immediately, make it specific, and encourage the person to keep up the good work. It’s a great way to interact with and affirm the people in your life—and it will make you feel good about yourself too.



Lessons Leaders Can Learn From Howard Schultz's and His Signature Story



Howard Schultz is the former Executive Chairman and CEO of Starbucks. Since joining the company in the 1980s, Schultz saw Starbucks grow from 11 outlets to 28,000 stores, along the way changing the expectations of consumers when it comes to coffee consumption. Schultz often tells his 'signature story’ about his first trip to Milan, Italy, where he conceived of the vision behind Starbucks. Here is how Schultz recalled the experience in an interview with Oprah Winfrey:

“People think I’m the founder of Starbucks. I was an employee when Starbucks only had four stores. I was sent to Italy on a trip for Starbucks and came back with this feeling that the business Starbucks was in was the wrong business. What I wanted to bring back was the daily ritual and the sense of community and the idea that we could build this third place between home and work in America. It was an epiphany. I was out of my mind. I walked in and saw this symphony of activity, and the romance and the theater of coffee. And coffee being at the center of conversation, creating a sense of community. That is what spoke to me.”

That story spoke to Schultz and he has never grown tired of telling it, nor has he tired of telling the story of growing up in a housing project under difficult circumstances.

Here are 5 inspiring lessons leaders can learn from Howard Schultz:
  1. Inspiring leaders are not as passionate about the product their companies make as they are about how the products or services improve the lives of their employees and customers.
  2. Inspiring leaders never grow tired of sharing stories that shaped their character.
  3. Inspiring leaders treat their people benevolently.
  4. Inspiring leaders obsess over every aspect of the experience they offer others.
  5. Inspiring leaders remind themselves—and their team—of what business they’re really in.
Above all, Howard Schultz ignites our inner fire by embracing and sharing his story of triumph over adversity. By doing so he teaches all of us—leaders, managers, entrepreneurs, and students—to dream big dreams and not to be afraid of chasing moonshots.

--Adapted from forbes.com



The Art Of Avoiding Assholes Or Being One Yourself

 
The world is full of assholes. Wherever you live, whatever you do, odds are you’re surrounded by assholes. The question is, what to do about it? Robert Sutton, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has stepped up to answer this eternal question. In 2010, Sutton published The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't which focused on dealing with assholes at an organizational level. In the book, he offered a blueprint for managing assholes at the interpersonal level. If you’ve got an asshole boss, an asshole friend, or an asshole colleague, this book might be for you.

Below are a few excerpts from an interview Sutton did with Sean Illing, a writer for vox.com.
  • You have to know yourself, be honest about yourself, and rely on people around you to tell you when you’re being an asshole. And when they are kind enough to tell you, listen.
  • I’ve done a lot of research on the expression of emotion in organizational life, including how to deal with assholes. I wasn’t using that word at the time, but that’s basically what I was doing. I even did some ethnographic work as a telephone bill collector, where I was dealing with assholes all day long. I was also part of an academic department that had a no-asshole rule — seriously. And we actually enforced it.
  • We would talk about the no asshole policy explicitly when we were making hiring decisions. Stanford’s a pretty passive-aggressive place, so it wasn’t really in your face. But if someone was acting like a jerk, we would gently shun them and make life difficult for them. The idea was to avoid hiring assholes if it all possible, and if one squeezed through the cracks, we would deal with him or her collectively.
  • There are a lot of academic definitions of being an asshole, but here’s how I define it: An asshole is someone who leaves us feeling demeaned, de-energized, disrespected, and/or oppressed. In other words, someone who makes you feel like dirt.
  • I would make a distinction between temporary and certified assholes, because all of us under the wrong conditions can be temporary assholes. I'm talking about somebody who is consistently this way, who consistently treats other people this way. I think it’s more complicated than simply saying an asshole is someone who doesn’t care about other people. In fact, some of them really do care — they want to make you feel hurt and upset, they take pleasure in it.
  • You've got to take responsibility for the assholes in your life. Some people really are so thin-skinned that they think everyone is offending them when it's nothing personal. Then the other problem, is assholeness is so contagious, that if you're the kind of person where everywhere you go, the people objectively treat you like dirt and treat you worse than others, odds are you're doing something to prompt that punishment.
  • An important point to always remember is not giving a shit takes the wind out of an asshole's sails.


10 Body Language Gestures To Avoid


Our body language exhibits far more information about how we feel than it is possible to articulate verbally.  All of the physical gestures we make are subconsciously interpreted by others.  This can work for or against us depending on the kind of body language we use.  Some gestures project a very positive message, while others do nothing but set a negative tone.

Most people are totally oblivious to their own body language, so the discipline of controlling these gestures can be quite challenging.  Most of them are reflexive in nature, automatically matching up to what our minds are thinking at any given moment.  Nevertheless, with the right information and a little practice, we can train ourselves to overcome most of our negative body language habits. Practice avoiding these 10 negative gestures:
  1. Holding Objects in Front of Your Body – a coffee cup, notebook, hand bag, etc.  Holding objects in front of your body indicates shyness and resistance, such that you’re hiding behind the objects in an effort to separate yourself from others.  Instead of carrying objects in front of you, carry them at your side whenever possible.
  2. Checking your phone or inspecting your fingernails – a strong sign of boredom.  Never glance at the time when you’re speaking with someone.  Likewise, completely avoid the act of inspecting your fingernails.
  3. Picking Lint Off of Your Clothes – If you pick lint off of your clothes during a conversation, especially in conjunction with looking downwards, most people will assume that you disapprove of their ideas and/or feel uneasy about giving them an honest opinion.  Leave the lint alone!
  4. Stroking Your Chin While Looking at Someone – “I’m judging you!”  People frequently stroke their chin during the decision-making process.  If you look at someone while you’re stroking your chin, they may assume that you’re making a judgmental decision about them.
  5. Narrowing Your Eyes – If you want to give someone the impression that you don’t like them (or their ideas), narrow your eyes while looking at them.  It immediately places a scowling expression on your face.  A slight narrowing of the eyes is an instinctual, universal expression of anger across various species in the animal kingdom (think about the angry expressions of tigers, dogs, etc.).  Some people make the mistake of narrowing their eyes during a conversation as a reflex of thinking.  Don’t send people the wrong message… don’t narrow your eyes.
  6. Standing Too Close – This just makes people feel uncomfortable.  Most people consider the 4 square feet of space immediately surrounding their body to be personal space.  Cross this invisible boundary with good friends and intimate mates only.
  7. Looking Down While in the Presence of Others – usually indicates disinterest.  Sometimes it’s even interpreted as a casual sign of arrogance.  Always look straight ahead and make eye contact when you see someone you know.
  8. Touching Your Face During a Conversation – Face touching, especially on the nose, is commonly interpreted as an indication of deception.  Also, covering up the mouth is a common gesture people make when they’re lying.  Always keep your hands away from your face when you’re speaking.
  9. Faking a Smile – another sign of deception commonly seen on the face of a fraud.  A genuine smile wrinkles the corners of the eyes and changes the expression of the entire face.  Fake smiles only involve the mouth and lips.  It’s easy to distinguish between the two.  Don’t force yourself to smile… unless it’s for the camera.
  10. Leaning Away From Someone You Like – a sign of being bored and disinterested.  Some people may also interpret it to mean: “I don’t like you.”  People typically lean towards people they like and away from people they dislike.  This is especially true when they are sitting around a table.  If you lean away from someone you like, you’re sending them the wrong message.