Examples of Noticing and Reinforcing Each Others Work, at Work.

One of the most effective ways to get the behaviour we want is to see in others is to sincerely reinforce that behaviour when it happens. In many ways this falls into the space of intrinsic motivation.

That said, providing feedback can sometimes feel like we are babying your co-workers. Get over it. We are not babying them or hand-holding. What we are doing is letting them know their efforts matter; that they are important and are making a difference.

One easy approach I would recommend is to focus on their effort and/or outcome and not make it too personal.

Here are some examples.

Awareness / Caring I

  • “Bob, you came in later today than usual. That’s very different for you so I just wanted to make sure everything is OK and ask if there is anything you might need?” Or
  • “Is that a new jacket? It is a great looking jacket.” Or
  • “How did your team enjoy the conference yesterday? They seemed really excited to attend.”

Awareness / Caring II

“I noticed you started the training meeting by reviewing the departments vision, values and how the training fits into us all achiving our goals. That really helped me focus my attention on how to use the training and where I needed to change.”

Appreciation I

“Thank you for your hard work. Your attention to detail made a difference.” (a focus on their effort)

Appreciation & Collaboration I

“You both found an interesting way to solve the problem and work together to complete the project even though you are in different time zones. Well done.”

Appreciation & Collaboration II

“Thanks for helping the marketing team get those financial numbers together. Having the finance departments input and suggestions helped clarify the expenses and potential ROI.” 

Being Clear – Getting To The Point

“You shared the objective and desired action item in the first sentence of your email. I want you to know this really helped us understand the reason for the detailed background you then provided.” (a focus on email etiquette / email writing technique)

Reinforce Desired Behaviour I

“Everyone is here on time and ready to start meeting. My thanks to each of you. This should help us get out on time as well.” (a focus on time management)

Reinforce Desired Behaviour II

“Before we close off today’s update meeting, I want to point out I noticed everyone gave each other the opportunity to speak without interruption and with an open, inquiring mind. Thank you – I think it is great how our team is really coming together.”

Reinforce Desired Behaviour III

“Bob, you worked really hard on this proposal outline and submitted it on time. It looks really good and gives each of the other managers a great foundation to all add their content while keeping a consistent objective and a consistent look for the company. Well done.”

It’s important to sincerely reinforce behaviour. If we are not sincere – it will show. It’s also important to say something as close to the behaviour as possible; don’t wait for their next performance review.

As with all things, practice makes perfect. When you see behaviour you want, especially if it’s behaviour that’s in the process of changing, try letting that person or people realize you see their effort and the positive impact they are having.

Reminders and positive feedback help others (and ourselves) visualize and recall expectations and the skills / actions associated with the behaviours we want to see / experience. The characteristics of good reminders and positive feedback include being:

  • Simple and brief (not a lecture)
  • Focused on the positive (what is), not the negative (what is not)

Little things matter.

Happy communicating, leading, mentoring and learning.

We facilitate courses including email etiquette, time management training, leadership skills, generational differences training… and more.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Call us at 416.617.0462.

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Teamwork & Team Players Increase Productivity.

Successful teams and teamwork magnify the accomplishments of individuals as well as the success of the projects. Do you see yourself as a bridge – a team builder who shares with others to achieve greater success? For some people it’s naturally easy – for others it’s naturally difficult. For example:

  • Many Millennials were raised to support teamwork – everyone works together and everyone wins.
  • Many Baby Boomers struggle with being a team player – they were raised there was only one winner so you better be the best.

I’ve been part of many successful teams; some small – some large. So, what can each of us do whenever we are part of a team?

Here are some team guidelines:


  • Trust – each of us has to be consistently trustworthy.  Be confidential, be respectful, be dependable even in the difficult times. Trust with the little projects leads to trust with the larger projects.
  • Empathy – be aware of the feelings of others and let awareness help you build relationships with your team. Slow down, connect, listen, and ask questions. Show your emotions and others will trust you with their emotions. Be a team builder – look for the potential within the project and your team members.
  • Accommodation – listen for other ideas. Let people be who they are. Let the team use each other’s personalities and talents. Nobody is perfect – we all need to be accommodated at some time. During the project your role will shift… especially during periods of transition. Take the lead freely and step aside freely to let someone else shine. Community is where you can be part of the bigger picture.
  • Mission – success is as easy as having one purpose – a shared common goal. Group activities can help but most importantly, the team needs to know what their objectives are. With this information the team can work together to explore and define tactics, timelines and measurements of success.


  1. Successful teams magnify the accomplishments of individuals and the organizations. While much of our current workplace emphasize winning and coming out on top – this behaviour demoralizes the creativity of the rest of the team.
  2. Fostering teamwork is creating a work culture that values collaboration and shared vision /goals. It doesn’t mean we have to regroup to make every single decision. It does mean we all get to benefit from the ideas and energy of others.
  3. If the team is struggling the challenge may be that a common objective and agreed upon tactics haven’t been defined. Don’t always assume it’s each other’s ability to work together.

Happy communication and email writing. 

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