When providing positive input, place emphasis on attributes rather than on performance. The tendency would be to congratulate them for “a job well done.” Unfortunately, while that sort of comment helps, it is disconnected from the person.
“That was a great job you did,” “You showed terrific discipline and a lot of intelligence” or, “You really have amazing personal skills.”
Telling someone that he or she possesses intelligence, discipline and excellent personal skills are more meaningful than statements about a great job.
Think in terms of being diligent, having good judgment, being disciplined, intelligent, reliable, far-seeing, well-focused, sharp, and so on. It is much more gratifying for someone to hear “You’re really smart” than “You’re a good mechanic.”
By telling someone, “You’re good at that,” you inadvertently convince him or her that “You’re not good at something else,” as that is the way people with low self-esteem think. Besides, they are probably accustomed to receiving praise in that manner and — believe it or not — begin to resent it.
Schedule regular review meetings with your people, where you can build up their self-esteem on a regular basis. At the same time, always pass favorable feedback to a person from his or her co-workers; and, once again, express that in terms of attributes (e.g., “So and so said that you’re a very responsible and professional person.”) That has more of an influential impact than something like (e.g., “So and so said that you did a great job.”).
While your attention is always focused on results, you should consistently give positive input that favors their personal attributes rather than their performance.
The loyalty and support you provide your Team under all circumstances, even when they make terrible mistakes, lay a very strong foundation to build teamwork, allegiance, security, productivity, self-esteem, and pride.