Stop Saying Good Job - Idea Firm

Stop Saying Good Job

 In Hiring & Culture, Managing, Delegating, and Leading, Operations & Process

Secrets to Managing People

Most leaders talk too much. The rule in sales is the prospect speaks 70% of the time and you speak 30%. Remember that one? This is critical if you intend to make substantial progress by leading and leveraging work through other people. This is obviously true in relationships with your team. If you are talking, you are not learning. As a manager at any level, I am keenly interested in how my people solve problems and think. Because my goal is to make sure they learn to make great business decisions without me. I can only learn how they think if I do one thing, learn to ask tough open-ended questions. And ask a lot of them, but just don’t be obvious!

It is equally important to build up self-confidence in your team members. Recognition helps, but we have to be careful here. Epictetus the great stoic philosopher (53 AD) said to never say “good job” or recognize your children for good deeds because they must learn to sense and be satisfied by their own good feelings that occur naturally from their accomplishments. Which we all do right? We all have those feeling. Think of the last time you did anything you were proud of and no one was around, right? You said to yourself “Cool, I did it!” And you felt personal pride not dependent upon recognition from others. So, when you see your team members do the right thing. Don’t say, “GOOD JOB!” You just robbed them of personal satisfaction! Rather, say something along the lines of: “I’ve seen projects like that completed before, but never quite like that. What was your thinking on that? How were you able to accomplish it?” Don’t just blurt out “Hey how did you do that?” Keep it conversational and natural!

The four secrets to leading other people

  • Stop saying, “Good Job!” Instead ask “open-ended” not yes/no questions, about how your people are achieving projects; Ask for their opinions; Ask how they can improve; Ask them how you can improve as a leader.

  • Stop talking and ask questions! The 70/30 rule: They speak 70%; You speak 30% or less.

  • Get out of the way of controlling and micro-managing everything. Instead, ask your team to make the business decisions. Step back!

  • Remember you are not as smart as you think you are. Replacing people like you would be no problem. We do it for companies every day.

I hope you win the day!


About the Author

Hi, I’m John Blakeney!

Since 1999, I’ve dedicated my life to building high-performing people and companies. I’ve been hired to advise hundreds of CEOs and I’ve doubled revenue for most of my clients. I have hired and trained thousands of employees in leadership, and on how to be profitable business decision-makers. Clients include small businesses, mid-market, and Fortune 500 Companies. I’m an active keynote speaker on leadership and a university educator on innovation. For fun, some friends and I brew IPAs with attitude. My wife and I are parents to three adult children.

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