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Positive Reinforcement

What you will get: A reminder of the importance of positive reinforcement


“Leadership Lessons from a Dog Trainer”


So yesterday I took my 4 month old puppy Odi for his second dog training session. (see cute photo above)


And something the dog trainer said got me thinking about leadership.


First let me explain the type of training we are using with Odi…


…positive reinforcement


No anger.
No shouting.
No saying “no”


Just ignoring him or distracting him when he does something wrong (like eating my new trainers or tearing a hole in my new jacket!)


And praising him BIG time with positive words and treats when he does something right.


And you know what?


It works!


I can officially say that after just 2 weeks of training we have a really well behaved puppy.


So back to what Sue, the dog trainer said…


“It amazes me how so many owners come here and ignore their dogs when they are behaving well, and then give them attention when they start doing things wrong.”


You see…


Dogs, just like children and employees in your organization, love attention.


So if you ignore the dog when he is behaving well, and only give him attention when he starts doing things wrong…


…guess what?


The dog quickly learns that doing things wrong is better than behaving well, because at least he gets attention that way!


And as any dog owner or parent knows, negative attention is better than no attention at all.


So what’s this got to do with organizational performance and leadership?




Just like…


…Sue the dog trainer is amazed by how many owners fail to praise their dogs for behaving well, it amazes me how many company leaders fail to praise their staff when they are doing a good job.


In many companies, it’s assumed that people do things well and are just left alone when they do.


But if someone screws up, you can be sure they get lots of attention and feedback then.


Why not flip this round?


Why not actively seek authentic opportunities to praise your colleagues when they are doing a good job.


And when they do screw up?


Quickly turn this into an opportunity for learning, focus on what can be taken from the situation and help make it into a positive experience.


Just imagine…


An end to those endless meetings focused on problems, negativity and what is wrong!


Sounds good doesn’t it?


So, go do it!


I’m off to positively reinforce my dog for sitting quietly at my feet while I wrote this.


How about you? What positive praise will you share today?


To your success







Steve Neale
“Europe’s Leading Expert on Personal and Professional Growth”


Psychologist, Executive Coach, EI Practitioner, Award Winning Trainer, International Author, Psychodynamic Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness Instructor, International Speaker, Creator of the LPS, Creator of the Accredited Masters in High Performance Leadership

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