Count Your Encouragement

August 20, 2012 by Paul Chappell

Perhaps you’ve heard the suggested praise/correction ratio of 10/1. And perhaps, like me, you’ve found it easy to forget to be regular on the praise side of the ratio.

Last week at our annual staff training, my friend, Ken McCoy, was reminding our staff leaders to regularly praise team members. He shared a simple idea with us that he used when his children were small.

Every evening, when he returned home from work, he would put a designated number of coins in his right pocket. Every time he encouraged or praised his wife or two small sons he would transfer one of the coins from his right pocket to his left. His goal was to have moved all of the coins before going to bed.

What I especially liked about this simple reminder was the determination to make sure the praise and encouragement was being given. If we don’t track it, it’s easy to think we’re doing better than we are.

Whether you are a parent, an employer, a team leader, or a leader of any kind, I challenge you to develop some kind of system that helps you remember to give regular and genuine praise to those you lead.

Correction does much, but encouragement does more!


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