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As a leader, how do you follow up on a corrective conversation to sustain the positive changes that you’ve asked an employee or team member to make?
If they make the change, but you don’t recognize it, there is a chance they might slip back.
Think of it this way: most people will stop doing things that bring them negative consequences and most people will continue doing things that bring them positive feedback. But most people will stop doing positive behaviors when they hear nothing.
The issue for most companies is not that they have too much negative feedback or too much positive feedback. The big problem is they have no feedback. It’s like a vacuum and in a vacuum people start to think, “Well, I’m not hearing anything. I’m not hearing bad stuff and I’m not hearing good stuff so I guess it really doesn’t matter.” Then what you’ll see over time is declining performance.
When somebody starts making the changes that you asked them to make, it’s important that youacknowledge those positive changes. In fact, as a leader, 80 to 85% of your job is simply to keep building on positives. You want to keep building on the positive so that your team performance increases over time.
As a bonus, acknowledging positive changes also makes it easier for you as the leader to address performance issues when they come up because your team will know that you generally focus on the positives.
So remember – if you want to support a team member in sustaining changes that you asked them to make acknowledge their efforts to change when you see it and make a point of looking for it.
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