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Jan's Corner: one simple way to get the best out of others, apparently

I have a friend who always seems to the get the best out of the people around him. You’ve probably seen this before. People love to do things for him, even if the tasks are difficult, tedious or risky and they seem to do the most excellent job for him! I wondered why this was…

So I asked him: “David, how come people around you are always so excited and nothing ever seems to be a problem?” And I was surprised by how simple his answer was. He said: “Everyone is great in some way or another. My only job is to find it, then notice when they are doing it and praise them for that. Then I give them more opportunities to do it again. Every day I focus on nurturing their strengths, not on fixing their weaknesses.”

It can’t be that simple, can it? But it also is not so unreasonable, right? We know that what we feed grows, whilst what we starve withers. It’s obvious. I see it in my garden and in my relationships. So I wonder why don’t we pay more attention to others’ strengths, praise them for work well done, and create opportunities for them to thrive? It doesn’t take much time.

Maybe we are afraid that nothing will ever get done if we just do what we are good at. Maybe it is out of habit or because our predecessors didn’t do that. Or maybe we are still conditioned by our years at school where subjects with bad grades required focus and improvement and praise was given sparingly. I don’t know. All I see is an opportunity to do something else – something that is more respectful, rewarding and something that actually works!

It’s worth asking yourself: “Whom could I praise today for something they have done really well?” (whether it is their job or not!)

2 Responses to Jan's Corner: one simple way to get the best out of others, apparently

  1. Great article, Jan – very well said, and so true, based on my experience.

  2. Terri Cooper says:

    well said Jan – and you are so right!

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