I’ve been reading a book called First, break all the rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. The following is a quote from the book:
One of the most powerful things you can do after reading this book is to go back and “rehire” your best people – that is, go back and tell them why they are so good. Tell them why they are on of the cornerstones of the team’s success. Choose a style that fits you, and don’t allow the conversation to slip into promises about promotion in the future – that’s a different conversation, for a different time. Simply tell them why their contribution is so valued today. Don’t assume your best know.
I’ve basically “known” this piece of advice before, but I kind of hadn’t realize how important that last sentence is: Don’t assume your best know. I think I’ve assumed that my team members know how they important are, so I suppose it’s time to go tell each of them how important they really are. Basically – the project wouldn’t be going anywhere without them.
I’d like to add that it’s important to tell each individually. I don’t mean this as a “management technique”, I simply say this based on my own experience: whenever I’ve got “praise” from my bosses in the past, I’ve felt better when they’ve talked directly to me. When they were talking only with me, and telling me “you’ve done a good job” it has felt good. It had much more meaning to me compared to situations when they’ve spoke to the whole team saying something like “all of you guys in the team made a good job”.
It’s easy to notice when people use praise as a “technique” compared to when somebody is really taking time to speak with you individually, and telling his honest opinion. It’s important to remind your team members how important they are.
When was the last time you said your team members how important they are?