People improve more by magnetizing their virtues than by brooding on their shortcomings”.
–J. Donald Walters

Part of being a leader includes addressing negative behaviors and attitudes that are impacting the success of a team. This is a required role, but another role is to reward the positive, effective behaviors that support the attainment of goals.

Understanding your team’s strengths as a composite, and from individual contributions, will improve results as well as satisfaction and appreciation levels. It will also enable you to point out the behaviors that lead to success.

How to Reward the Positive & Banish Negativity in the Workplace

J. Donald Walters, author of The Art Of Leadership provides the following tips:

  • Work to strengthen a subordinate’s best qualities, rather than harping on his worst. You will accomplish far more by encouraging others than by belittling them.
  • Work more with your organization’s strengths than with its weaknesses. Channel more energy to those people in it who are in tune with what you are doing than to those whose tendency is to resist you.
  • Don’t invest a disproportionate amount of energy in addressing negative situations. Strengthen the positive side, rather, and any negative vortices of energy that exist will tend either to be dissipated or to remove themselves from the scene.
  • Don’t allow subordinates to offer merely negative criticism. Teach them that they must earn the right to speak by offering solutions when they want to point out problems.
  • Encourage the DOERS under you, not the mere talkers.
  • Never court popularity for yourself. Be concerned with issues, principles, (and goals).
  • Never speak from your own emotions or private prejudices, but always from a sense of justice, fairness, and truth.

We’re not saying to eliminate development plans as they are needed and add value, but we are advocates of acknowledging, and whenever possible, rewarding the behaviors (and skills) that allow teams to flourish.

Do you consistently acknowledge the strengths of your team?