Instant Gratification

Instant Gratification

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” ~ Unknown

Instant Gratification

A large part of becoming a top performer is understanding the human psyche in ourselves and in others. The more we can account for instincts that have been part of our genetic makeup since the time of the woolly mammoths, the better we can serve ourselves and our fellow man. One of those primal drives is the need for instant gratification. When the hunter-gatherer within us tells us we’re hungry, it’s time to go out and hunt. Once the prey was captured, our ancestors ate glutinously until they could eat no more. Who could blame them if their continued existence was directly dependent on their hunting prowess?

Millenia of humans living in agrarian societies nearly stamped the impulse for instant gratification out of our systems. Waiting for crops to come to harvest gives one a tempered perspective on fulfilling our needs. All of that training, however, may have been undone by the digital age. The instantaneous access to information, communication, and purchasing conveys ease of existence that subconsciously translates into “every task should be as easy as ordering a couch online.” When our team members are faced with a process that proves difficult or time-consuming, the knee-jerk response is that the task is either impossible broken or beyond their ability.

Leaders have a twofold duty given these circumstances. First, our expectations must be clearly stated with reasonable timeframes. Second, we must fill in the instant gratification gap with timely feedback and encouragement. The hidden benefit of stemming the instant gratification tide is that we are building a relationship with our team members. People follow others they know, like, and trust. The reinforcement that comes from your encouragement will go a long way to achieving those goals.

Consider this …

1. When was the last time you provided timely feedback and/or encouragement to your team members?

2. How prone are you to offer timely support and encouragement to your team members on a regular basis?

3. Where do your team members need feedback and/ or encouragement right now, and how can you best provide it? Do it now!

For more, check out The Top Performer’s Field Guide, The Innovator’s Field Guide, or visit www.JeffStandridge.com.

(Originally published in The Top Performer’s Field Guide.)

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