Hopefully, you’ve had the pleasure of watching the movie Despicable Me. (If not, I would highly recommend it, and you might as well make it a weekend with Despicable Me 2, also.) If you have seen the first movie, then the title of this blog post may be familiar to you, but just to get us all on the same page, watch this clip.
My goodness! Doesn’t that just break your heart? Mean Miss Hattie obviously doesn’t believe in using encouragement and positive reinforcement to motivate her precious little sales team. It’s too bad, too, because who knows how many mini-mints, choco-swirlies and coco-nutties her team would sell if they were raised up, encouraged and praised for their efforts? To me, 43 mini-mints, 30 choco-swirlies and 18 coco-nutties equal 91 more boxes of cookies sold than the day before. And, hey, if each box costs about the same as a box of Girl Scout cookies, that’s $318.50 in gross sales in one day – by a 9 year old, a 7 year old and a 5 year old! I would call that a great sale day, but that’s just my perspective.
So, what’s your perspective on a great sale day? Or, maybe the question is: what is your supervisor’s perspective on a great sale day? Let’s hope you don’t have a “Mean Miss Hattie” for a supervisor but rather someone who understands the value of motivational leadership and keeping a positive perspective on measuring success, growth and development.
Whenever I have to evaluate anything, from the outcome on a client’s campaign to a team members’ performance, I tend to lean toward the positives first. It’s not that I ignore the negatives, but I even address the negatives with an eye out for the silver linings. If overall attendance for an event was down, I can’t help but dig further into other qualifiers. What was the make-up of those who did attend? Did we attract any new or unexpected audiences? How did those in attendance respond to the event? Did we still hit our fundraising goal? And, when weighing feedback for a team member’s performance review, I am almost always going to balance giving praise and pointing out areas in need of improvement. The point is that in finding the positives, I have reason to give affirmative reinforcement while discussing what can be done better next time.
As you can tell, I’m an optimist. I will always argue that the glass is half-full. In my mind, there’s still more beverage to enjoy! So, it’s natural for me to take this positive perspective on various professional outcomes, and I can always find something to report that shows success, growth and/or development. In other words, I believe that any day can be “a great sale day.” It’s just a matter of how you look at it.