There have been, there are and there will always be those “Little Things” in any organization that shape the culture of trust, risk taking, confidence and ability to bring out best in people. Funny & Serious thing about these “Little Things” is that you can put them one way or the other. You can just say “you have done very well” or you can add a little “BUT” and kill the flow of positive emotions, you can just “pat on the back” or show a little “Thumbs Down” and put them back into their shell, you can put more efforts to “find the bright spots” or dig for those little “Mistakes” to take the sheen out of their efforts.
So the BIG question is “What are you looking for?” Do you want to catch people “doing the right things” or “missing out on something”, “working late nights to resolve the issues” or “missing an email response”, “compromising their personal/family time” or “coming little late to the office”, “working on something critical they are not assigned to” or “slight delay in their own deliverables”, “amount of work they have delivered” or “something not delivered” and so on the list can go forever….. I am not calling for ignoring the things that are missing or not done properly, I am calling for the need to understand where the emphasis should be. Only the right emphasis can bring the best out of people. Impact of negative message on brain is much bigger as compared to positive message, so we need more and more positive messages flying in the environment.
What are you talking about? “I can’t keep on pampering people”, “I need to meet the numbers”, “I need to meet the tough project timelines”, “I need to cut down the cost”, “I have to comply with my org priorities”, “I can’t impact my own focal”. Yes, we need to do all that but remember those “Little Things” that matters a lot in building the organizational environment and culture, be it Negative OR Positive. I feel the answer lies in “HOW” of the things, How you deal with the situations, How you interact with people, How you deliver the message and How you use the right words. It is up to us, each one of us to “Discuss or Escalate”, to “Understand or Judge”, to “Value or Ignore”, to “Highlight Efforts or Find Faults”, to “Respect or Disregard” and to “Bring Up or Push Down”. I think each one of us feels that we have the right intent, but we also need to feel and believe that “Others” also have the right intent, intent to contribute to organizational growth and success.
Organizations survive, thrive and grow on the foundation of Innovation. Innovation happens through Risk Taking and Risks are taken by PEOPLE, confident people with Little fear of failure. Machines do not take risk just as People with apprehension and lack of trust. People with apprehension and lack of trust can at best work towards their focal, limiting themselves to the known stuff, maintain the status quo and maintain possession of knowledge. We need to clearly segregate Challenge from Fear. Challenge says “If you do this, this is what success looks like”, Fear says “If you can’t do this, this is how you can fail”. Difference could be Little in the two terms but the impact is huge for the organization. We can surely instill confidence and trust though consistent little positives.
So again, ask yourself “What Little Things are you looking for?”