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How Can Criticism Improve Your Team’s Performance?

August 3rd, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments
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In my many years in business, I have discovered, what I believe, is one of the biggest mistakes many leaders of people make.  They try to change their people.  They believe focusing on individual weaknesses within the team will improve performance of the team.  They focus their energies and their criticisms on their people’s weakness, instead of their strengths.  What you focus on grows.  Are they wanting their people’s weakness to grow?

Certainly not.  Every manager or team leader wants productive and happy team mates.  Many leaders fall short, believing that if they focus on their team mates weakness that team mate will change and overcome the weakness.  We would be better served to keep in mind that all of us have our own individual strengths.  As a team leader or manager, it is best to focus on each individuals strengths and build on them.  Everyone has at least one strength that can be built upon.

If we, as managers/leaders, continue to focus on negatives or weakness in our individuals and team, it breeds an atmosphere of criticisms and disapproval.  Team mates who are always waiting for the next critical remark.  It keeps us from building strong productive relationships within our team.

How often should we seek to find the positives in our team mates and our team?  Every single day, all the time, until it becomes the way of life.  It’s strange how human nature works.   We could praise our team members 99 times and be critical of 1 thing and they will only remember the 1 criticism.

We should always be slow to criticize and quick to praise.  You are probably thinking to yourself, “how do I address it when someone is doing badly?”  The most productive form of punishment is the lack praise.

When you are wanting to be critical, don’t do it.  Instead, spend that time making heroes out of the other people on the team.  The people that are doing the job well should get more of your love and attention.  Keep that up for awhile and the poor performer will be dying for your praise and recognition.  They will seek to be worthy of their team mates respect. They will make the changes without the team leader becoming hurtful with criticism.

When we build upon each others strengths we become a team of strong individuals working toward the common goal. The team leader sets the standard for every team. Slow to criticize, quick with praise and recognition the team will be on the path to excellence!

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