REINFORCEMENT, PUNISHMENT AND PERFORMANCE

It doesn’t matter where you work, your boss wants you to be productive.
You may or may not be as concerned as he is about your productivity, as long as you get paid.
You may have a love/hate relationship with your job – you love the paycheck (or maybe it’s not enough) but you hate the work. But, you need to be there to get the aforementioned paycheck.
Some people love their work so much they would do it even if they were not getting paid. There may be very few of those folks, but they are out there.
Others may be saying to themselves, as is imprinted on some coffee mugs, “I Went To School All Those Years To Do This?”
Author Bill Sims Jr., in his first book, “Green Beans & Ice Cream,” talks about the power of positive reinforcement in the workplace. He quotes a statistic that says 68 percent of workers have never heard the words “Thank You” from their bosses.
Though we all work for a paycheck, cash may not be the best motivator. Acknowledgement and praise for good work may be better at improving productivity. It comes down to this: as a worker, what choice are you making on the job when no one is watching? If you like where you work, and are getting the right positive reinforcement, you’ll choose to always be productive, Sims says.
In any relationship, what choices do you make when no one is watching? Are you always faithful to your spouse? Do you always eat the right foods? Do you cheat, even a little, on, say, your taxes?
Some choices may be “wrong,” on their face, but at the time, you may not see the harm. Many of us go a tad over the speed limit when we are driving. Many of us take our personal documents to work to make “free” copies. As humans, we are not without sin, and we don’t cast the first stones, but these things just seem “OK.”
But on the job, are you working under the duress of your consequences for NOT doing what you’re supposed to, or are you recognized appropriately for doing what you should, when you should. Sims cites the firefighter who instinctively goes into a burning building to save a life, without regard for his own safety. That’s the ultimate in making the right choice when no one is looking.
Think about why you do what you do, not only at work, but in other life situations. It’s rare for many people to ALWAYS make the right choices, but if you are choosing correctly most of the time, give yourself a pat on the back. Or, as Sims calls it, “Self R+.”
If you are continuing to work under duress for a pittance of a paycheck, don’t fret. There are other ways to make money that may allow you one day to fire the punishing boss. To check out one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It may not be a quick solution to the problem, but it may give you reason to dream of the day of dumping your dumb job and helping others do the same.
Meanwhile, though, don’t give up what is putting food on the table. As long as you are there, find ways to motivate yourself to make the right choices when no one is looking. You’ll actually feel much better about yourself. Having that “Self R+” will help you in all your future endeavors, inside or outside of work.
How cool would it be to become so confident that you’ll do the right thing that no temptation will steer you to the wrong path? Sims’ mother wanted him to eat his green beans, She offered ice cream as a reward if he did. Over time, he learned to like green beans, even as his mother gradually backed off the amount of ice cream he ate.
You, too, can learn to like the green beans of your job – or at least tolerate them. It certainly would help if your boss offered you acknowledgement and praise for doing the right thing, instead of only punishment for mistakes. In the meantime, if your boss is unkind, be open to other avenues. They may lead you to the right path of acknowledgement and praise.
Peter

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