You Can’t Over-Appreciate People
An appreciation is a personalized thank-you. It works quite well for individuals. Don’t use it for teams. It loses its power when you try to use it for multiple people at once.
Here is a form of an appreciation:
<First name>, I appreciate you for <specific thing the person did>. It gave me <specific benefit to me>.
You can see that an appreciation, given in private one at a time to specific people, is a powerful way to reinforce the behavior you find valuable.
Here, Robert could say to Cheryl, “Cheryl, I appreciate you for the courage it took to say this to me. It allowed me to fix this before it became a huge problem and blew up in my face. Thank you for having my back.”
When You Give Credit, You Look Like a Star
When you give credit to other people, you look like a star to the rest of the organization. Even if you didn’t hire the people who are doing a stellar job, you’re managing them in some way that allows them to be great. The more the people who work for you are doing great work, the better you look.
And the more you look like you don’t have to work hard to manage them, the better you are as a manager—and the better you look.
Read more of Johanna's management myth columns here:
- The Myth of 100% Utilization
- Only the 'Expert' Can Perform This Work
- We Must Treat Everyone the Same Way
- I Don't Need One-on-ones
- We Must Have an Objective Ranking System
- I Can Save Everyone
- I Am Too Valuable to Take a Vacation
- I Can Still Do Significant Technical Work
- We Have No Time for Training
- I Can Measure the Work by the Time People Spend at Work
- The Team Needs a Cheerleader!
- I Must Promote the Best Technical Person to Be a Manager
- I Must Never Admit My Mistakes
- I Must Always Have a Solution to the Problem
- I Need People to Work Overtime
- I Know How Long the Work Should Take
- I Must Solve the Team’s Problem for Them
- I Can Move People Like Chess Pieces
- Management Doesn’t Look Difficult From the Outside, So It Must Be Easy
- I Can Compare Teams (and It’s Valuable to Do So)
- It’s Always Cheaper to Hire People Where the Wages Are Less Expensive
- If You’re Not Typing, You’re Not Working
- You Can Manage Any Number of People as a Manager
- People Don’t Need External Credit
- Performance Reviews Are Usefult
- It's Fine to Micromanage
- We Can Take Hiring Shortcuts
- I Can Standardize How Other People Work
- I Can Concentrate on the Run
- I Am More Valuable than Other People
- I Don’t Have to Make the Difficult Choices
- I Can Treat People as Interchangeable Resources