What we give our attention to grows.
The more attention you pay to a behaviour, the more it will be repeated. Accentuating the positive and redirecting the negative are the best tools for increasing productivity.
Killer-whale trainers know that when you don’t pay a lot of attention to what the animals do wrong but instead give a lot of attention to what they do right, they do the right thing more often. When trainers commence working with a new whale, the whale knows nothing about jumping over ropes. The trainers begin with the string underneath the water, high enough from the bottom for the whale to swim under. If the whale swims under the rope, the trainers don’t pay attention, but every time he glides over the string, they feed him.
Focusing on the negative often creates situations that demoralise people. When a favourable response follows good performance, people naturally want to continue that behaviour.
Nothing is wrong with accomplishing goals, but when you focus solely on results, you miss the big picture. As a result, things like morale and job satisfaction will tend to fall by the wayside. Leading at a higher level is the process of achieving worthwhile results while acting with respect, care, and fairness for the well-being of all involved. It’s only when you realize it’s not all about you that you begin to lead at a higher level.