We now know that what you celebrate (typically success) gets repeated, and the more you celebrate it, the more of that behavior you get. We used to think this was part of the psycho-babble voodoo of niceness in business and that it really wasn’t necessary. It is and now it’s proven. Look for low-hanging fruit in your company–small successes that everyone can participate in–because it’s a good way to get the snowball of success and high morale rolling when things are going badly.
Here are a few tips to get the snowball effect of success breeding success in your business or organization.
You’re looking to experience success, not to learn from mistakes. It might sound like semantics, but it is a different framing that works to keep you going. When you discuss mistakes, make sure you don’t just focus on the what-not-to-do part of it. If you want to head down the path of success, you have to understand what is correct and try the successful behavior until you have a positive outcome.
Get your head positively in the game. When you make a mistake, don’t allow negativity to rule you. As “new-agey” as it sounds, stay positive. Your attitude should be that you get another chance to make it right. Focus on the next turn. Don’t become mired in negativity, you will become more and more frustrated and will continue to make mistakes. Take a break! When you can come at the challenge with a new and positive perspective, you are primed to try it again.
Nothing replaces practice. When you achieve success, mimic the very same behavior again relatively quickly after the last success. In essence, practice and practice and practice the art of success. That’s why you see golfers hit ball after ball on a driving range. Focus on the attempts you get right; ignore the wrong ones.
Celebrate. If you’re trying to teach someone a new skill, celebrate their successes and ignore their mistakes unless the failure is going to be harmful.
Positive feedback is like cash in the bank. The old adage is true: “People have a tendency to become what we encourage them to be, not what we nag them to be.” As a leader, catch people doing things right and make sure they know you’ve witnessed it. Give them on-the-spot feedback on it so that they get a big dopamine hit. Don’t wait for company meetings or the next time you see them walking down the hall. One of your most important activities as a success chief will be to immediately dole out feedback when someone does something right. Get good and consistent at it.