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Why are we smarter about puppies then humans?

Posted by Meg Bear on May 12, 2008


While before I was talking about feedback in general, today I want to talk specifically about positive feedback.  I really enjoyed this posting that discusses the merits of praise, possibly enhanced by this one for those of you who prefer brevity.

Just coming back from The Conference Boards “Employee Engagement and Retention Conference” last week, I was struck by just how far we have to go in this area.  One point that summed it up for me was this set of questions/responses.

When asked “do you need encouragement to do your best at work?”

20% replied yes. 

When asked “When you get encouragement, does it motivate you to do your best?”

90% replied yes.

We all read this and think “of course”, we know this.  So I ask you, when was the last time you said “thanks”? 

Does your team make it a standard practice to recognize the contributions in an authentic and timely way?  Why do we understand so easily when training puppies that rewarding good behavior causes them to behave, but with people we focus on “constructive feedback” (and maybe once a year?!) and expect that to yield results.

I would encourage you to consider making a serious [focused] effort to say thank you more often.   Not only will it help someone be motivated to continue to do their best, it might also help you to always look on the bright side of life.

4 Responses to “Why are we smarter about puppies then humans?”

  1. […] Comments (RSS) « Why are we smarter about puppies then humans? […]

  2. […] I am talking about today, is more on the idea of engagement and what I learned at the conference I […]

  3. […] *thanks again Vivian — you rock!  […]

  4. […] their personal bias toward praise.  If you have a strong personal bias to praise (or dare I say a culture of thanks) you probably want to error on the side of inclusion and define those who are entitled to praise […]

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