Tip: Set Lift Goals — Try setting a “lift others” goal for the day whereby you plan to provide 10 lifts before the end of the day and one lift per scenario you’re in. You’ll find that it’s easy to do because it’s too often the case that you think of something nice to say that you don’t ever share.
Great leaders lift, mediocre leaders pull.RAP#2: Leaders appreciate. Every leader should recognize that every person they come in contact has an invisible “S” on their chest screaming “make me feel special.” Why do we quit getting gold stars after the 3rd grade? It’s a mistake. We are never too old to appreciate or show appreciation. Showing others appreciation and gratitude has lasting effects on work productivity and performance. A study conducted by Glassdoor, revealed that 80% of workers are more likely to work harder when their work is appreciated (as cited by Brooks, 2013). Appreciation can come in all shapes and sizes but we say show appreciation for your boss, your employees, your coworkers, and your clients. Showing appreciation is distinguished from “lifting” because it actually means saying “I appreciate…” and then providing a specific thing that the person did that you appreciated. Remember, lifting others, while just as important, is about kind comments and gestures.
Tip: Reflect to Appreciate — Reflect on your day, each day, on the car ride home. At the end of the ride, take note of 3-4 things that people did that day that you appreciated. Shoot a text to the people you aren’t going to see the following day, and tell anyone you know you’ll see the following day, face-to-face, that you appreciated what they did the previous day. Of course we advocate for spontaneous appreciation but this tip will help you get into the habit of appreciating often.
Great leaders appreciate, mediocre leaders overlook.RAP#3: Leaders celebrate. If you want a positive yet driven environment, you have to find a way to celebrate wins, early and often. This strategy starts with having clear goals for the team, but most goals are not realized until well after the critical work is done. That’s why it’s important to celebrate the process of getting to the goal, rather than just success once the goal is attained (Blanchard & Bowles, 1998). Early wins are the markers along the way that your team is making progress toward the intended outcome and the right place to celebrate. Leaders infuse positivity by recognizing when milestones toward the goal have been achieved, and that lets everyone know just how important the work is and establishes the right culture early.
Tip: Set Markers — For every goal you set, also determine the markers or milestones that matter as indicators that the team is on the right path. These are the places to celebrate, early and often, giving the team the sense of positivity they need to continue driving.
Great leaders celebrate, mediocre leaders ignore.RAP#4: Leaders inspire. Unfortunately, people often describe their work culture as having “no hope.” They feel like the goals are impossible, the customers are relentless, the work is piling high, and there’s no end in sight. This lack of hope often stems from redundant work, work that gets interrupted, an inability to see a product, and often problems that employees have no say in solving. Leaders can inspire hope by allowing people to work with thought partners, in teams, as problem solvers, and by giving regular opportunities for input into company processes. In fact, the best leaders spend most of their time in the most important spaces in the organization, where the real work is being done, and not in an office. Providing creative outlets, and even time for employees to tinker with pet projects that excite them, inspires a general hopefulness about the work. Inspiration is really important for a positive outlook.
Tip: Value Innovation — Make sure that you communicate to your employees on a regular basis that you value their thoughts and ideas. Create a response system where everyone has say in how they work should be done. This could be through a professional learning team process or systems of support for people to engage with the work that they find most meaningful, joining the teams and committees of their choice (Kotter, 2014). The goal is for people to see that they’re adding value and that through the value they add, input they’ve been awarded, and feedback they’re permitted to give, they will have hope about the work they do.
Great leaders inspire, mediocre leaders bore.Being a positive leader and creating a culture that recognizes and supports achievement is a decision that requires effort and a solid strategy. The four parts of RAP simply provide a model to ensure that positivity is a focus, each and every day. Goals are exciting to set and everyone enjoys achieving them, but it is the gap between the setting and the achieving where we need the most support and encouragement. Utilize RAP to build a culture of positivity and enjoy the success that unfolds. Let us know what you think of this #SH302 post with a like, follow, or comment. Joe & T.J. Blanchard, K. & Bowles, S. (1998). Gung ho! Turn on the people in any organization. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc. Brooks, C. Appreciation motivates employees to work harder, study says. BusinessNewsDaily, 2013. Retreived from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/19/appreciation-employees-work-harder-motivation_n_4302593.html Kotter, J. (2014). Accelerate. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing