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The Power of Catching Someone Being Responsible, of Doing Something Right.


As managers and supervisors, we may be used to catching employees doing something wrong. When that happens, we reprimand them and we expect their behavior to change. If their behavior does improve, the change is often short-lived.

So, what can we do to achieve long-term improvements? How can we help our employees achieve our goals and make fewer mistakes?

Well, to start off with, if we want everyone involved, then we need teamwork and the collaboration of our employees.


How do we make that happen?

We need to recognize and motivate our employees and we also need to develop an assertive management style. Today we are going to take a look at this.

In fact, in a previous class, a participant shared a story with the class that is a great example of what we are looking at today.


Watch the short video lesson 


A great story!

There was a guy driving home, late at night, around 1:30 AM. There were no other cars on the road and no other people around.

Just before he gets to his home he stops at a stop sign. Even though there were no people and no traffic, he came to a complete stop and looked both ways to make sure nothing was coming.

He pulled up just outside his house, took off his seat belt, and was just about to get out of his car when he noticed the lights of a police car behind him, he became quite nervous and wondered what he’d done wrong.

A police officer knocked on his window. He knew he’d been wearing his seat belt, he knew he’d stopped at the stop sign. With his heart pounding, he rolled down his window.

The police officer leant in the window, he said, “You didn’t see me parked on the corner when you came to the stop sign.

I saw you, and I saw that you came to a complete stop. It made me feel very happy that even though there were no cars and people around, you made sure you stopped properly.

I just want to congratulate you and say thank you for doing the right thing.”

Then, the police officer said good night and left.

The guy felt good that he’d been praised.

This guy came to our class and told the story since that incident, he has ensured that he always comes to a complete stop at every single stop sign.


The story affected all in the class!

The impact of the police officers praise didn’t only make a lifetime affect the guy involved.
Other participants in the class have said that after hearing the story, they also always come to a complete stop at every stop sign.


This is where we see the power of catching someone doing something right.

Now, imagine if you do this in your working environment.

In the book the One Minute Manager, one of the techniques is to praise employees.

There are certain steps to follow when praising an employee.


The Steps!

First, when you congratulate them:

  • Be specific about what they did right

  • Tell them what you liked

  • And how it made you feel.

Now that you’ve seen that positive praise can make a lifetime impact on someone.


Let’s practice writing what you’d say to recognize an employee.

Think of a person and a situation where you can give praise.

It may be for someone who always comes to work on time.


Remember, be specific, only mention positive things, tell them how you felt, and what you liked.

As you heard in the story about the guy who stopped at the stop sign, recognizing someone just one time can have a lifetime effect.

Now, I know some of you are already doing this, but I encourage all of you to catch all your employees doing something right all the time.

I’ll see you in the next lesson.

Watch FREE the FULL First Video Lesson 

(in Spanish with subtitles in English)

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Bonuses: Short video-lesson in Spanish on The Mindset of an Effective Supervisor with subtitles in English


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