By Cyndee Miller
People like praise — and it’s not just millennials (despite what you read lately). For leaders, the point of providing positive feedback isn’t to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. It’s to build the wildly brilliant team you need to get the job done.
“This is what builds great cultures: reinforcement,” Adrian Gostrick told symposium attendees in the closing keynote. “On great teams, members root for each other — praise doesn’t just come from the top.”
This isn’t about spraying good vibes everywhere, however. That can backfire. Engage team members in one-on-one feedback sessions, and be specific and sincere, he said. And don’t wait until a holiday party or some off-site retreat to toast your team.
There’s a straight line between positive reinforcement and two of the three “Es” — engaged and energized — that Mr. Gostrick highlighted as hallmarks of high-performance cultures.
The third E, enabled, is about creating a place where people believe they can make a difference. It’s bigger than autonomy. People should feel empowered to challenge the status quo if they see better ways of doing things, and to fix a problem on their own if they spot it.
Building a culture that drives results is way more squishy than say, mapping stakeholders or aligning budget numbers — and can often prove more challenging. “The soft stuff is the hard stuff,” Mr. Gostrick said.
How do you handle the soft stuff?
That’s it for this year’s coverage. Fear not, we’ll be headed back for more PMO Symposium action 11-14 November 2018 in Washington, D.C., USA.