Lean Leadership for Happier Holidays at Home | 019
Lean Leadership for Ops Managers
The Holidays are “Extra”
The holidays are “extra.” In addition to all the normal chores and responsibilities, there are usually extra things from gift-buying to food-making to light-hanging. This is often a stressful time for folks, and there’s no doubt that difficulties we’ve all faced this year can put strain on our interactions with family and friends.
In this episode, we’ll take a look at Reinforcing Feedback as a leadership skill and how you can apply it at home to ease some stress, recognize others’ contributions, and build happier holidays at home.
Reinforcing Feedback Refresher
Let’s refresh and define reinforcing feedback. Reinforcing feedback is when you recognize helpful behaviors. In leadership we’re purposeful about giving reinforcing feedback on the helpful behaviors you want more of.
If you missed Episode 5, I dig into The Problem with Recognition and I encourage you to take a listen. As a quick reminder, there are two important pieces that need to be included in Reinforcing Feedback.
The first – are specific behaviors. Not vague things like “ownership” or “responsibility” or “initiative.” The actual behaviors – what you see and what you hear.
And the second – is the impact of the behavior. The positive benefit.
Here are some examples of how we do this in the workplace:
John, thank you for raising problems in our shift huddle. It helps others see that it’s safe for them to raise problems, too. Appreciate it.
- The specific behavior is raising problems in shift huddles
- The impact of behaviors is that it shows others that it’s safe for them to raise problems
Rachel, thank you for putting tools back where they go as you’re finished using them. It ensures tools are available for others and shows our core value of respect. Thank you.
- What’s the behavior? Putting tools back where they go as you’re finished
- The impact? The tools are available and it demonstrates our core values in action
Apply Leadership at Home
So what does this have to do with Happier Holidays at Home?
This year I want you to specifically go on a treasure hunt looking for opportunities to recognize helpful behaviors or contributions. People in your household are probably picking up some slack or taking on some responsibilities or doing helpful things – – that you’re not even paying attention to.
Here’s the meme I mentioned in the episode – this is EXACTLY what it was like with my mom and dad growing up. And sometimes that burden is called the “invisible burden”.
Now look – it may not be christmas present shopping or wrapping. Maybe it’s other stuff.
Here are some examples of the kind of feedback I’m talking about:
Thank you for washing all of the guest bedroom linens. I know it will feel great for my parents to crawl into freshly washed sheets when they visit for the holidays. Thank you.
Thank you for taking care of dinner tonight. It takes one thing off my plate so I can take care of the holiday tasks on my to do list. I appreciate you.
Thank you for taking out the trash without being asked. It shows me that you’re helping out with household chores as a member of our family. Keep it up. (this one’s designed for the kids in the family!)
Thank you for hanging the lights on the house. It really makes the kids so excited to go outside and see the lights each night. Thank you.
Thank you for taking initiative to buy milk and cookies ahead of time. It’s great that we’re sharing responsibility for making Christmas Eve and Christmas morning traditions with the kids. I appreciate you.
Remember the two important parts to include:
- The specific behavior
- The positive impact of that behavior
Trust me, this feedback will lift the mood. It will help people feel valued. It will help your kids understand what those helpful things are that they can do more of. It will ward off some of the snappiness that could happen when people are a little more stressed than usual.
And this is my Mom and Dad after we’ve opened gifts. Dad’s shocked and joyful at all of “our” new cool stuff. Mom’s feeling accomplished. Happier Holidays at Home!
How to implement reinforcing feedback at home during the holidays to reduce stress, share appreciation, and create happier holidays at home.
Go out and look for things to recognize at home during the holidays. It’s a scavenger hunt. Seek them out.
Too many of these efforts are hidden. Like that meme.
So make an effort to find them.
And then – share your appreciation. Give reinforcing feedback. Or recognition. Or appreciation. Whatever you want to call it.
Once you find it, Say it. Say thank you. And remember to share what it is you’re saying thank you for and how that contributes. Why it matters.
Ready to take your team to the next level and achieve a real impact in just three weeks? Schedule a call with Jamie to explore possible next steps for your leadership team.
- Schedule a call with Jamie to discuss the best next step for your leadership team
- Reflect on your 2020. Did you make any of the mistakes discussed in Episode 010: Top Mistakes Ops Leaders Make with Lean or Episode 011: Biggest Pitfalls for Managers?
- Improve how you think and what you do during tough times through the steps in Episode 016: Gratitude – Thinking to Acting
- Explore Reinforcing Feedback as a way to put gratitude in action in Episode 005: The Problem with Recognition
- Connect with me on LinkedIn