Chapter 14Coaching and Rewards

Reward the performance you want. Positive reinforcement is far more effective than punishment when something goes wrong. To use a carrot-and-stick analogy, where you mix positive and negative reinforcement, dangle a carrot (positive reward) at least 85 percent of the time. Wield the stick (punishment) the other 15 percent.

It sounds so simple, and yet many managers fail to follow this basic principle of rewarding the preferred behavior. Most often, they seem to ignore competence and focus attention only on performance or behaviors they don’t like.

When that happens, it may discourage peak performance. Employees decide there’s not much incentive to do better than meet the standards. And you’re going to be spending ...

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