Staff in almost ALL schools are starved of feedback. Best selling author Ken Blanchard states in his great “One Minute Management” series that “the number one motivator of people is feedback on results” (p.133, 2010).
Blanchard goes on to write that “feedback is the breakfast of champions” (I thought it was Weetbix!).
I know I have been guilty of not providing enough feedback to staff in the schools that I have led. I tried to acknowledge the great work of people but this tended to be generic acknowledgement and not specific enough. I hoped that the many good people knew how much I appreciated them and what they did but I am certain that I didn’t personally tell them enough. I learnt that the personal touch is vital. A handwritten note or a card (sent to their home is even better than their pigeon hole) is often treasured.
This month I’m encouraging you to make a special effort to provide SPECIFIC praise to your great people throughout the school. This doesn’t have to be a public awards ceremony on assembly. I’m encouraging you to be on the look out for staff who are doing a great job and give them a ONE MINUTE PRAISING.
According to Blanchard a ONE MINUTE PRAISING should be…
Immediate and Specific – tell them exactly what they did right as soon a possible AND
State Your Feelings – tell them how it makes you feel when you see them doing that
Blachard advises NOT to wait for perfect behaviour before praising. Just as we do with young children, we need to catch people doing things approximately right. Whilst we want things to be exactly right we need to acknowledge progress towards goals. What we need to do with staff (as we already know with students) is accentuate the positive and catch people doing something right, even if it’s only approximately right.
One minute praisings are a great habit to get into – it not only boosts staff morale but helps move towards the way things should be done by providing encouraging feedback.
Start today and see if you can make one minute praisings part of your repertoire.
I’d welcome your thoughts or comments