Sunday, November 7, 2010
Behavior that goes unnoticed....
"Bad" behavior, loosely described, is often the action without conscious consideration or thought, or it is an auto-response based on years of other behaviors gone unchecked; simply said, it's often what comes easily to that person at that time. So, if this type of behavior goes unnoticed, since it is often the action with less thought or the easy way, it stands to reason that the behavior will continue, eventually becoming habit.
"Good" behavior, loosely described, is often the action with conscious consideration that sometimes requires a break from what is easiest and moving past what seems to be the way most others would behave. It's often (not always) the tougher road. That is why positive recognition makes such a difference; it's a gentle reminder that the thought and effort is worth it! Likewise, if this type of behavior that often requires more effort or a history of similar tough decisions goes unnoticed, it is understandable that it just might cease to continue ... to disappear.
I know I am oversimplifying behaviors, there is a range and integration of motivators for action and behaviors, but nonetheless, based on a result our outcome of a behavior, it is reasonable to suggest that there is a loose grouping of "bad" and "good" behaviors. You could also say, bad behavior is something others would like to see go away, and good behavior is that which others would like to see continue. So if we want bad to stop and good to continue, they must both be noticed, recognized, called out.
This applies in business, communities and families. The act of recognizing and responding to behavior can be likened to a coach. We all have an opportunity to fill that role - you can be an employee, a friend, a boss, a peer or even a complete stranger and successfully fill this coaching (or feedback) role. If we want to make the world a better place, we need to do a better job at recognizing behaviors and reacting in such a way that helps lessen the bad and grow the good. Behaviors (and people doing the actions) are often not self aware or self corrective. We affect one another in business, family and life, and we need each other to continually improve who we are, how we act, and the outcome of our behaviors.
While bad behaviors should certainly go noticed, coached and corrected in appropriate ways, it is just as powerful (possibly more so) to catch people doing something right. Think of the good and selfless acts we see every day: something as simple as a young person letting someone less fortunate or able than them step in front of them on a bus or escalator, or the soldier who consciously lays on a grenade to protect his fellows. Think of the co-worker who puts others first or who takes the time to listen to others, to develop them, to "give them a chance". The next time you see those behaviors, please call them out, please recognized them in a way that is appropriate to the person setting the example. If we don't these good behaviors could slowly disappear. Be a part of perpetuating the good in the world by telling someone thank you, writing them a letter, or giving awards and public recognition for the small and big behaviors that make a positive impact.
If you are reading this, I challenge you to think of one person in the last few days that you know displayed good behavior (they don't have to have saved the world - just something good). Exit this post and send them an email recognizing them. Write them a hand written thank you note. Call them out of the blue to tell them you saw or heard... and that you just wanted to acknowledge them. In your next meeting or in person interaction, publicly praise them for their behavior. You are more influential and important in perpetuating good behavior than you could possibly know.
Keep the good going!