Raising Children and Affirming Performance in the Workplace

As I become more versed in dealing with grandchildren — I have three perfect granddaughters and live three houses distant from them — I harken back to the vicissitudes of raising my own children, training combat engineers in the Army, running companies with hundreds of employees, and peddling advice to CEOs through the Wisdom of the Campfire.

The key to all of it is training and personal development. How does one develop talent at the grass roots level?

One of the tools available to a leader is what I like to call: “Catching someone in the act of doing something good or well.”

It is something that leaders of experience do naturally, but when you are new at the gig you may want to discipline yourself to find someone doing something worthy of praise.

In praising — or in affirming an aspirational objective — it is always more effective if you catch someone in the act and establish the direct connection between the desired behavior or outcome and the affirmation.

This is called “real worlding” it.

Whatever behavior you recognize or reward, you will get more of — applies to children, grandchildren, combat engineers, employees, and CEOs.

People thrive on praise, particularly when it is actually earned.

Thought that needed to be said. Catch them in the act and then affirm.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.