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Catch Them Being Good

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

October 6, 2020 Partnership for Talent

I have always been a believer that leading teams is a lot like raising your children- love them like crazy, commit to guide and develop them, recognize that they might not always approach things the way that you would, and be okay with the fact that they will never fully appreciate the support you have given them.

When our children are younger it can be a natural tendency to have the main word they hear from us be "no". There are so many things that we are trying to teach them, and so many pitfalls we are trying to make sure they don't experience that before we even realize it our voices become white noise to them. And if asked they would tell you all we ever say is "no, no, no". I read an article when my daughter was small that had some great advice:

Catch them being good!

I tried to remember this advice as she was growing up (although I am sure her opinion on that would differ from mine now that she is a teenager), and I try always to practice it with the teams I lead. As a leader it is a natural tendency to be constantly providing constructive feedback to our teams. I will be honest I am a big believer in open, honest and straightforward interactions and uncomfortable but productive conversations. But in all of that guiding and developing we can't forget to catch them being good.

Now more than ever, organizations are fighting to survive, to grow and to maximize every moment of the time their teams commit to their jobs. This has become even more difficult with remote work, COVID anxiety, and an uncertain economic outlook. It can be a subconscious temptation to focus on all of the things that need to be fixed, improved upon, or changed. Don't forget to stop and recognize all of the positive work that is being done, the commitment that our teams are showing to our organizations and one another, and the progress forward no matter how small.

Just like the parent whose heart is warmed by the smile of pride on their child, you will be amazed at the impact on your team (and on you) when you remember to stop and catch them being good!


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