Humans have a natural tendency to focus on the negatives and overlook the positives of our people, according to Professor Martin Seligman.
Our brains and what we see are like Velcro for negatives and Teflon for positives. As leaders we can always see what is wrong but fail to see or appreciate what is right. Add to that the fact that people remember the bad far longer and more intensely than the rights and we have a double recipe for disaster and poor performance.
Performance reviews are just the starting point for this, where we repeatedly share with our people what they are not doing well, but fail to put the emphasis on what they are doing right and asking how we can help them get more rights in their role.
We need to intentionally and deliberately look for the good that our people are doing and identify and coach our people to use these strong qualities to assist and help them see their strengths and then how to use these strengths to further grow and develop.
Key opportunities to focus in the positives may include;
- Performance reviews
- Development plans
- Leadership development
- Recruitment and retention
As leaders, we have a responsibility of optimising the outputs of our people whilst ensuring they continue to grow and develop.
In essence, we have the responsibility to develop our talent.