Eye opening: that’s what people in my management training have told me they find the Three Coin Method.  In the Three Coin Method, supervisors and managers start their day by putting three coins in one pocket.  Their assignment throughout the day is to find three of their people doing something good.  When they see something, they first tell the employee (rule #1 regarding positive feedback: tell people as it happens, don’t save it for later), and then move one coin to the other pocket.  Now they have two coins left and two more employees to “catch doing something right” as Ken Blanchard says.  

One thing the Three Coin Method accomplishes is changing managers’ perspective. Because what do we usually see?   We notice what’s going wrong, or when someone makes a mistake, or when someone doesn’t do something the way we want them to. Unfortunately, managers often practice what Ken Blanchard calls the Seagull Method of Management:  we leave employees alone until they do something wrong, then we fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on them, and then fly out!

On the other hand, when we’re looking for what people are doing right, our whole perspective changes and we start seeing ALL THE WAYS people are doing good every day–helping a fellow employee, going above and beyond for a client, and so forth.  Lots of good things are happening every day once we’re watching for it.  

Similarly, ask your people these questions:

  • What do you think you are doing well?
  • What do you think your part of the organization is doing well?

People get to tell you the good things they and their teams are doing, and you understand positive performance that you might have missed.

And it’s a lot more motivating for employees to know that you recognize the things they’re doing well, rather then just having you swoop in and dump on them when something goes wrong.

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