I am willing to bet that like me, you are quick to criticize and a bit slower to compliment.  That is true for most people.  But it is something we should all work to overcome.

There is nothing wrong with making constructive critical remarks, but they are best delivered in person and in a manner to help both the person you are speaking with as well as the organization to perform at a higher level.  It’s really the anonymous hallway chatter and behind-the-back snarky comments that are unhelpful.

And on the other side, would it hurt any of us to take a minute to give a “way to go” to a colleague, a client or a supplier?  Of course not.  In fact these gestures, when sincere, and delivered in a timely fashion, pay many dividends and will be remembered for a long time.

Here is a suggestion.  Find a stack of note cards and place them in clear view on your desk with a sign that says:  ATTTABOYS.  SEND ONE DAILY.

This simple visual cue will help you remember this assignment.  Each one can be written by hand (a very nice touch) or even emailed.  And don’t fake it or you will be seen as someone just sniffing for an advantage. Besides, you don’t need to.  Surely each day you see someone go the extra mile, step up when the team is short handed or do a really excellent job on some assignment or investigation.  Short and sweet will do.  And if it is something really special, a cc to the recipient’s supervisor may be called for.

What would you rather be remembered for – being a persistent nag and critic, even if you are usually right, or being the kind of leader who recognizes someone’s effort, large or small?  It’s up to you.



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