Carrot or Stick? Part 2

by Basheer Tome (Flickr)

by Basheer Tome (Flickr)

Last time we visited we talked about Leaders that use the “Stick” to motivate others.  We learned we need the rules however, important as they are, they cannot be substituted for “out front” leadership.   Now let’s review the carrot.

How do you use your influence to motivate others leveraging positive reinforcement?  Much has been written on how the wrong type of positive reinforcement can lead to all kinds of unintended consequences.  I will refer you again to two of the best books on the subject The Carrot Principle and The Five Love Languages.

I was first given The Five Love Languages by the Pastor that married my wife and I.  He met with us and said we should read this together… boy was this an incredible piece of advice.  This is an absolute must read for anyone that desires to understand relationships.  The 5 languages are simple and everyone has one or a combination of 2 primary languages.  Specifically, the languages are Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time and not to be used in the work place Intimacy.

Dr. Chapman teaches we all have an emotional bank account.  He suggests we all are making and receiving deposits and withdraws every day (whether we recogize it or not).  Similar to a financial bank account but with people.  You are either in the black or NSF.  It’s quite easy…  The people you have the best relationships with are those that speak your language and you make deposits into their account because you understand their own.  If you want to develop a relationship, start by spending time paying attention to what makes someone smile.  Most likely, when you make someone smile, you have discovered what language makes a positive deposit in their account.

CAREFUL HERE!  If while practicing the languages you come across as contrived, or if your reasoning for wanting a relationship is not sincere, you will be NSF.  You can and will do long term damage to your reputation as well as have an adverse effect on the other person.  The Five Love Languages are for those who want to serve others and not serve their own interest.  As it is with individuals, it is similar with groups.

Lastly, if you are a servant leader you will find words of affirmation come out easy.  You give of your talents and treasure willingly and your most fulfilling moments are in the service or others by spending quality time with them.  So if you are reading this…… you are already on your way.  Go out and buy the books.  They will serve you well as you are out learning to serve others.

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