Earlier this month on our LinkedIn page we posted an article about “Why It Pays to be Positive,” and I want to expand upon this article because it refers to the whole underlying premise of why our company is named “Purple Ink”. You may recall, the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and a line when Grandpa Joe tells Charlie, “The Bucket family may be poor, and we may be hungry, but we always stay positive. Write that in purple ink, Charlie, purple ink!”
When we started Purple Ink in 2010, we vowed to assist our clients with a positive approach for any human resources need. Whether facilitating training, recruiting, or consulting about an employee relations or compliance issue, we focus on positively moving forward; it’s about how to learn and do better next time –not become fixated on what went wrong.
Positivity is especially important in communication and feedback with employees. I think many of us naturally think positive thoughts about others, but we often fail to share them with that specific person. When’s the last time you had a great waitress, observed an effective presentation, admired someone’s wardrobe, or had an employee exceed expectations? That person might have even made your day, but did you take 30 seconds to share it directly with that person? If you did, I can assure you it made their day too!
While coaching supervisors and managers about providing feedback, a lot of them will initially respond that they think they are pretty effective about providing positive kudos, but struggle with sharing bad news or constructive feedback. When I hear this, I like to try and reframe their thinking about feedback. Feedback is sharing information; it’s not about good or bad. Positivity can be incorporated in every discussion by taking a positive approach in thinking about the professional development of someone else. Provide feedback with the goal in mind that you want to do whatever YOU can do to help this person become better.
To quote the article that we posted, “Praise empowers people”.
Write that in Purple Ink!!