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A Single, Positive Change for the New Year

The other day, someone asked if I’d be interested in sharing some advice on New Year’s resolutions. I jumped right in with 1 simple tip and 1 suggested resolution—both of which apply to changes you make at this or any other time of the year.

Tip: Pick 1

Behavior change is hard enough, so don’t make it harder by trying to implement a pile of changes all at once. Instead, drop the “s” on “resolutions” and pick just 1 thing. Then commit to it and stay focused.

Resolution: Good Beats Bad

Don’t know what that “one thing” should be? Try this: resolve to catch people doing things right instead of always calling them out for their mistakes.

I work with many corporate leaders on this skill, and while it’s sometimes a difficult change it make, the rewards are well worth the effort, because positive encouragement is far more effective than negative correction.

So this year, try making a conscious effort to recognize and even reward positive behavior in your subordinates, colleagues, and bosses. (Yes, your superiors need encouragement too—perhaps more than anyone!) Even more, practice pointing out great behavior with your spouse, children, loved ones, and friends.

The more you do it, the more it will become second nature—and the more you’ll see its positive effects.

Happy New Year!

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