As I’m nearing my second anniversary of attending Wesley full-time and claiming it as my home church I have thought a lot about leadership. My first big boy job out of graduate school was doing leadership development for FedEx Office. FedEx had just bought out the old Kinko’s print shops was starting the process of assimilating a mom-and-pop culture of individual stores and managers into the corporate collective. It was not an easy thing to do but a vital part of that was delivering leadership seminars to existing and new managers was at the top of the list.
One of the modules we taught in our weeklong class was a nifty little model for leaders to think and talk to their colleagues and team members. We called it Leadership P.O.P.’s. I actually used to have a box of POPS (the cereal) that I would use as the intro to this lecture and series of activities. When thinking and talking to those who work around us we used to teach “Positive-Opportunity-Positive”. This was a great tool to evaluate folks in your own head and it was a useful framework to use when talking to people when giving feedback or coaching.
Always think of one positive (or good) thing someone has done or is doing and compliment them on that before talking to them about any opportunity to improve that you want to mention. Never call it a criticism, or a “gotcha” moment, or some sort of mean spirited attack on anyone. Then follow it up with another positive thing that you want to call out and compliment them on. Only talking to colleagues or team members when they have done something wrong is very common in many organizations or cultures. This is bad leadership. When addressing any issues or giving any feedback good leaders don’t only talk to people when something is wrong…and they talk about what’s good and right twice as much as they talk about anything that needs to improve.
Positive-Opportunity-Positive. You should write that down somewhere. 🙂