The Hidden Treasure

Where Ancient Wisdom Meets Contemporary Psychology

Does encouragement really influence performance?

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Jun• 28•10

Really believe in your heart of hearts that your fundamental purpose, the reason for being, is to enlarge the lives of others.  Your life will be enlarged also.  And all of the other things we have been taught to concentrate on will take care of themselves.     Pete Thigpen

Ask yourself this question:  Do you need encouragement to perform at your best?  Typically, about 2/3 of those asked will respond “Yes!”  They need encouragement to be at their best.  This may appear to be quite high at first, but the fact is…far more than 2/3 of individuals are impacted by positive feedback.  In fact, when the question is rephrased:  When you get encouragement, does it help you elevate your performance? Only 4% tend to answer “no.”  Studies of North American workers consistently find that 96% agree with the statement that…”I get a lot of satisfaction out of knowing I’ve done a good job.”

So, if encouragement elevates performance and morale, why is it so sorely lacking in most work environments?  Research indicates that only about 40% of American workers say they receive any form of positive feedback for work well done.  Only 50% of managers report giving positive recognition for high performance.  A common management mindset is:  Why should I give positive feedback for work my people are getting paid to do?

The problem is, most of us grew up with minimal amounts of positive feedback.  It just doesn’t feel comfortable to give what we have never received.  We have all received a lot of negative feedback when our performance was subpar.  The truth is, we are probably fortunate if the negative feedback we have received doesn’t outweigh the positive by more than three to one!

Not good news is it?  In 1949, a famous study by Lawrence Lindahl asked employees to rank the rewards of their job they valued most.  The highest on their list was  1) feeling appreciated; and 2) being informed about decision and changes that were happening.  Their managers believed they would rank good wages and job security at the top of their list.  This just goes to show you how in touch most managers are with the value system that drives their employees’ performance!

Lindahl’s results have been replicated dozens of times over the years.  The bottom line is you can rationalize all you want about why learning to provide praise and positive feedback isn’t really important to organizational success.  You are simply rationalizing away your discomfort at giving positive feedback!  If you really want to improve your ability to motivate human performance, you have to get really good at giving positive recognition and encouragement.  This is where a good coach is worth their weight in platinum!

Working with a good coach can elevate your skills in delivering positive feedback and excel in your ability to motivate your workforce.  Is it time you elevate your game by learning how to deliver positive encouragement in ways that really make a difference for those you manage?  98% of your workforce may think so!

Call me for more info…go back to or 260-471-9902

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