When it comes to motivating people we need to focus only on positives messages in order to maximise the impact.
Too often I have heard leaders say, things like, that was a great job, but its a shame about the cost overrun or fantastic design concept but it’s a shame about the colour.
When ever we do things like this, people only ever hear what was said after the but. The compliment which was meant to motivate is lost and people are just left with the demotivating criticism, which was not our intention.
It’s like my wife, if we are going our to a dinner I can tell her that her dress looks fantastic, her hair is delightful, she looks so young, beautiful and sexy, but i am not sure about those shoes. The only thing that registers is, I don’t like her shoes, all the other complements are lost and have evaporated into thin air. She is now disappointed that I don’t like her shoes.
So if we want to motivate people through compliments and recognition then we need to just have positive messages.
If we have suggestions for improvements, then it’s better that we park these and bring them up at another time.
If motivation includes a but, then this transforms it from motivation into demotivation.