Deposits and Withdrawals

October 23 2016
By: Terry L. Mathis

The poet Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." When we manage, supervise or coach workers, we tend to focus on what we say and don't pay enough attention to the feelings we create. We try to be technically correct rather than kind and supportive. We try to correct faults and fail to build on strengths. The more we focus on the negatives and neglect the positives, the more we make workers feel negative and inadequate. These feelings promote depression rather than motivate improvement.

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Many successful performance coaches create a mental bank account for feelings and try to consider every communication as either a deposit or withdrawal of positive feelings. They try to maintain a positive balance in their dealings with each individual. We often adopt formal programs to build motivation or employee engagement when a simple appreciation for the feelings we create would more than suffice.

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.

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