Facilitating Progress

  • 2 mins read

When you focus on small wins and facilitate progress, your employees will find the energy and drive required to perform optimally. Teams will be more cohesive and collaborative. You’ll get high performing teams.
In the work I do in leadership coaching and team responsibility, I find that some naturally know how to spark best performance, some don’t.
According to the latest research done by Amabile and Kramer for the book The Progress Principle, two key forces enable progress:

  1. Catalysts Events that directly advance project work, such as:
    1. Clear goals
    2. Autonomy
    3. Resources, including time
    4. Reviewing lessons from errors and success
    5. Free flow of ideas
  2. Nourishers Interpersonal events that uplift workers, including:
    1. Encouragement and support
    2. Demonstrations of respect
    3. Collegiality

Dealing with Setbacks
Three events undermine people’s inner work lives:

  1. Setbacks The biggest downer, yet inevitable in any sort of meaningful work
  2. Inhibitors Events that directly hinder project work
  3. Toxins Interpersonal events that undermine the people doing the work

Negative events carry a greater impact than positive ones. We pay more attention to them, remember them, and spend more time thinking and talking about them.
That’s why it’s so important for managers and team leaders to counteract negative events with positive perceptions and comments. Research shows it takes three positive messages to balance a negative one.
The Daily Progress Checklist
To better manage your people, use the Daily Progress Checklist (below) to review today’s and plan tomorrow’s managerial actions. After a few days of checklist use, you’ll be able to save time by scanning for the italicized words:

  1. Focus first on the day’s progress and setbacks.
  2. Next, think about specific events: the catalysts and nourishers that affected progress.
  3. Finally, prepare for action: What’s the one step you can take to best facilitate progress?
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