Posts Tagged ‘coaching’

Building a Trusting Workplace #3

March 2, 2009

This is the third of four blogs on Overcoming Commoditization with Your People.  Click here for the original post.

Our businesses are always at risk for being seen as “commodity suppliers” by our clients, customers or prospects.  Our people are the best resource we have to differentiate ourselves in the markets we serve.  So far we have discussed identifying the values on which our enterprise is founded (#1) and having the right people in place (#2).  This blog is about “catching people doing something right.”

Forty years ago, the founder of Integrity Solutions, Ron Willingham, recognized the vital significance of building people by positive reinforcement.  Then Spencer Johnson and Ken Blanchard wrote their little book, The One Minute Manager, which was a roaring success.  Steven Covey’s Seven Habits took the business world by storm in the 1980’s.  In this decade the Gallop organization has numerous books on the importance of creating a positive work environment, including Vital Friends by Tom Rath.  All of these deal at some level with the need to reinforce people in a positive way.

What about growing the person?  How do you focus on the positive?  You have to be intentional about it!  The best way to grow people is to 1) assess their strengths, 2) talk with them about those strengths, and 3) listen to where they want to grow.  Then encourage and help them accordingly.  When we teach Integrity Coaching® part of the mindset we want supervisory and management folks to adopt is: 1) Point out a person’s strengths and show them how those strengths fit into the organization’s goals.  2) Ask them for areas in which they would like to see themselves grow, and encourage them to grow in those which are compatible with their strengths. 3) Point out to them every time you see them doing something correctly in either strength or an area they identified for improvement.  In his book, The Greatest Management Principle in the World, by Dr. Michael le Boeuf (now out of print), he makes this key point in building up people:  “Behavior that gets rewarded, gets repeated.”