Saying Good Job: The Difference Between a Head Pat and Coaching


by Kris Dunn, The HR Capitalist

headpatIt’s always a little surprising when you’re out in the world and find out many people have a fundamental issue with saying “Good Job.”

For some on the far end of the “I’m tired of sucking up to these damn millennials who got a trophy for using toilet paper in an anatomically correct way “, saying “good job” is as hard for them as it was for Hancock.

We get it right?  Do your job.  Don’t expect praise for doing your job.  That’s what boomers and Gen X always heard growing up.

But having a blind spot to saying “good job” can rob you of an opportunity to be an effective coach for the people who report to you.  Don’t say “good job” because you think someone needs to hear it, say “good job” so you can get more of the good performance you see.

Reasons to say “good job”, followed by specifics of what you really liked about what someone did:

1.  To get more of the same thing. Keep doing what your doing.

2.  Ramp it up and give me more of that.  In fact, stop doing some of the things you’re doing and give me more of this thing…

3. Expand It – Good job.  You can make it even better by adding this – <insert coaching>

4.  Franchise It – Good job – I like what you’re doing so much here, I need to tell others about it and train them on how to do it.

Saying good job as a head pat sucks.  No one has time for that.  But, you have to see the opportunity to coach for more performance when you say good job, and like Jason Bateman in the clip above, teach people how to say it.

G..G….G…ooooood.   J…J…ob.

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