Friday, October 14, 2011

What Gets Rewarded Gets Repeated....Maybe

This week we received a hand-written letter in the mail from one of our children's teachers. She was writing to share her observations of how hard this particular child had been working in her class. Needless to say we were proud parents and wasted no time sharing this letter later that night.

As a former teacher, I loved using this practice: What gets rewarded gets repeated. I would do the same as this teacher did or just pick up the phone and call parents. I wanted my students to know that I was in their corner and wanted them to succeed in my class. I was constantly looking for strides of success so that I could quickly draw attention to it and thus motivating them to continue their hard work.

That same day I observed someone in a position of authority completely blow an opportunity to reward someone who had worked very hard on a task. What surprised me the most was my own emotional charge. I tend to be a very mild-mannered guy, but being an innocent by-stander, watching this unfold I was...simply put...ANGRY!

My emotion was fueled by the fact that I believe the other person knew they had worked hard and while others around them were being rewarded publicly, this individual was not only rejected, but had to bear this in front of a peer group. How does this make sense? It doesn't!

I don't want this to be a rant. I share this in order to hopefully make you think about how you recognize and reward those in your sphere of influence. In every personal exchange with others we have the opportunity to make "deposits" into or "withdrawals" from others. This is not a difficult principle to implement into our lives.  Everyone of us are influencers. We don't need a title. We influence our family, our co-workers and random people we see everyday. Look for the opportunities to reward positive experiences. Be the cheerleader for other people. Here's a short list:

  • Look them in the eye and say "Thank You!"
  • Tell someone in a position of authority how good of a job they are doing.
  • Leave a generous tip and a note.
  • Write a short note.
  • Buy them their favorite beverage.
  • Brag on them to several people who work with them.
  • Help them with a task they clearly don't enjoy. 
What would you add to the list? Share in the comment box below.

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