A ratio of 5:1 what you might ask? Is it an equity to debt ratio? Interestingly it is a measure for what some consider a soft skill – positive feedback.
Yes, research shows that companies that perform above average financially have a ratio of 5 positive instances of feedback for every 1 negative. If the ratio is lower like 2:1 people feel criticized, demotivated and that they can’t do anything right. If the ratio is higher like 9:1 people feel unchallenged and don’t believe it.
So a soft skill like giving positive feedback can be a factor in increased financial performance for London businesses – maybe that’s the rationale reason you’ve been needing all along to give more positive feedback.
The reasons I often hear from individuals I talk to in my executive and leadership coaching sessions for not giving more positive feedback are:
- If I praise them they will expect a higher raise which the company can’t afford
- That’s what they should be doing, that’s their job
- They’ll think they are doing such a good job they will slack off
- I’m busy and have little free time
This isn’t true as employees, actually people in general, like being acknowledged for doing a good job.
As an experienced executive coach I always tell my clients that positive feedback is not just ‘well done’, ‘good job’. Rather it is very timely and specific. Give it as close to the time that you witnessed the behaviour and be specific about what was good in the behaviour such as “I heard you listening to that customer who was complaining. You listened allowing them to get it off their chest, empathized with their emotions and apologized for our part and offered a solution. Keep up the good work.” With practice it takes a minute at most to do and the rewards are great.
Think about a time where you were genuinely praised by someone you respected. How did it feel? What was the impact on your attitude and performance? What specifically did they say or do that meant the most?
What would it take for you to give out 5 bits of positive praise today? Maybe even try it at home!
Anne Taylor is an experienced executive and personal coach that helps an extensive range of individuals in the London area. For more information on her coaching services call 02031 516 830.