Catch them when they fail
“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”
We coach and teach clients to offer more praise, to provide more positive feedback, and to catch people doing things right. All of these are important and essential — and reap great benefits.
That being said, at times, more important than catching people doing the right things is to catch them when they need to be caught — and encouraged — when they fall.
We seem to be a world of over-achievers. Of people trying hard to do our best and to be the best. To never make a mistake and never fail. But fear of failure can keep us from taking risks and trying new things. When we are criticized or discouraged during or after failure, it can cause us to give up and stick with the tried-and-true.
As leaders we want the people around us to try new things and to succeed. We want them to learn from their mistakes and to keep going. And the best way to help them do this is to provide support and encouragement, when things aren’t going well.
It’s important to remember that a few words of encouragement can make all the difference to your struggling team member. We do want to catch people doing things right, and trying new things is one of the behaviors we want to reinforce. So look around you (or inside you) for people who could use some encouragement, and throw it around — Thoughtfully and meaningfully — to yield greater results.
Find someone on the brink of failure and give them the support they need.