Momentum Podcast: 391

Accolades Create Momentum

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

This is a really important lesson for every entrepreneur out there, including me. In my twenties, I had the belief system that if I told anybody that they were doing a good job, that they would get complacent. So, all I did as a leader was tell people what they were doing wrong. If you're treating your team in a way that's punitive, if you're not acknowledging all the amazing things they do, you are creating a massive amount of stress between you and your team members. This is one of those changes of behavior that takes faith on your part but I promise that you achieve so much more momentum with positivity rather than negativity.

Full Audio Transcript

As entrepreneurs, one of the hardest things we do is tell people when they're doing something right, give them compliments and give accolade and acknowledgement to our team when they earn it. Here's one of the challenges of being an entrepreneur with a team. If you don't tell your team when they're doing something right, they won't have contrast to know when they are.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.

Our business is getting more exciting by the day. I don't know how else to describe it. It's just, this is the most fun I've ever had in my career. It's ironic because I'm running right now, one of the smallest businesses I've ever had. I'm very accustomed to running businesses over $10 million a year, over $20 million a year, over $30 million a year. Right now, we are in our about 18 month of this business, so we're about 18 months in.

In our first year, we did a few hundred thousand. It looks like we're going to close our second year, well over two million. The last information products business that Cadey and I had, the Certified Distressed Property Expert, our first year was 127,000. Our second year was about a half million, so that is the ClickFunnels difference right there.

By using an employee in ClickFunnels, instead of doing a half a million in our second year we've done ... We will do over two million in our second year, which is just, it's just awesome and statistically, it's near impossible to do that, so we are so thrilled about it. Right now, we are bringing in some of the most exciting clients we've ever had.

We have some of the ... We have the category leader in so many different categories, it's crazy. We have the person known for what they do in so many different categories it, like it impresses me and I'm inspired on a daily basis by our clients. This week, I got a Voxer from ... A voicemail from one of our clients who said, "Hey, I just wanted to let you know, I went to the Getting Started section and I had a huge awakening."

The Getting Started section for our coaching program is relatively short. It's only a couple of hours, but one of the things that we cover in the Getting Started section is the 5 to 1 Rule. John Gottman's rule about giving somebody five compliments or five times positive feedback before you give them any corrective feedback.

Here's what my client said in the message that he left me. He said, "I just listened to this and it has been such a game changer for me already, because I realized that one of my team members recently took initiative, sent out an email, created a ton of revenue for us but when I was congratulating her on it, I actually congratulated her and then told her all of these things she could have done better, and all of the things that I would have done."

By listening to the information on the 5 to 1 Rule, he said, "I've come to the realization that I probably discouraged her from taking initiative again, because telling her what was wrong about it wasn't the same as just telling her that I was really proud of her and excited about it."

This is a lesson for every entrepreneur out there, especially me. Now, I want to put this out there in a way that's really transparent and real. Because one of the reasons I read Gottman, one of the reasons I obsess over the 5 to 1 Rule, one of the reasons I coach it is because I used to be absolutely terrible at this.

In my 20s, I had the belief system that if I told anybody they were doing anything right, they would get complacent. I had the belief system that if I told anybody, "Hey, you're doing a good job," they would just check out and they wouldn't care anymore, so all I did as a leader was tell people where they were wrong.

I told people where they missed, and I told people where I felt they could have done better, and I told people what they should have done instead of doing what they did. I never, if I could help it, I never acknowledged my team doing the right thing. As a result, I now know just how much pressure and noise that caused in my life.

Because here's the reality about the pressure and noise in your life. Here's the reality about the stress in your life. You don't know how much you have until it's gone. Let me repeat that. You don't know how much you have until it's gone. When you are treating your team in a way that's punitive like I was, you're not telling them what they're doing right. You're not acknowledging when they do the right thing.

Like my client who left me the voicemail, you're constantly telling your team where they could improve or what they could have done better, what you're doing is you're creating a massive amount of stress between you and your team members because your team members, instead of looking to take risks, and get excited, and do something right and make a big impact, what they will constantly do is try not to be wrong.

See, by telling people constantly where they're wrong, by not acknowledging people, we set up a an expectation that they're always going to be told that they're wrong, and so what will happen is people take less risks. They try ... They don't try as hard. They actually try to stay out of trouble instead of trying to create huge results and they start playing not to lose instead of playing to win, and the difference is dramatic.

When your team's playing not to lose, they won't be as excited about putting themselves out there. They won't do things that may make them vulnerable within your company. They won't try as hard, as if they feel confident that you have their backs. The way to do that is to use the 5 to 1 Rule for Gottman.

Again, here's what it is. You have to have five positive interactions with somebody in order for a corrective interaction to be heard. I'll say it again, five positive just for a corrective interaction to be heard. When we don't manage that way as entrepreneurs, and when we're constantly telling people what they're doing wrong, that's just who we are.

See, I now know that in my early days as a CEO and as a leader, I was just seen by my team as somebody who was negative and somebody who always had a complaint. Somebody who had a problem for every solution, because I never told my team, "Hey, this is incredible, you're doing a great job."

It wasn't until I had been leading people for a long time that I started realizing not just how much that was damaging my relationship with my team, but how much it was robbing them of momentum and how much it was robbing me of momentum, because I was always negative. I had this massive negative bias where I wouldn't allow for any positive thinking, for any celebration, for any excitement over what me and my team we're achieving. It never was enough and there was always something we could do better.

As a result, my team was challenged, to say the least. They were worried about doing something wrong. They were skittish about taking any kind of risk. They would point fingers at each other if something did wrong. I actually set up an environment where my team was working against each other instead of with each other. It robbed us of a ton of momentum and I know that we could have created so much more, and done so much more, and been so much more effective had we focused on the positive.

In fact, here's an experiment that I encourage entrepreneurs to do. For a week, only tell your team what they did right. Stop telling them what they did wrong. Just look for them to do the right thing and tell them when they're doing right.

Because here's what I know. If you had the choice to communicate with your team in exclusively one of two ways ... The first way, all you were allowed to do is tell them what they were doing right, tell them what they should amplify, tell them what they should do more of and tell them when you're proud of them, that's the first way. Then the second way is all you're allowed to do is tell them when they're wrong, tell them what they need to change, correct them.

Here's what I guarantee you. If you did the first one where you were communicating to your team in a positive way, telling them what they did right, telling them why you're proud of them, telling them why you're excited for them, that you would have incredibly more ... Incredibly higher results and more momentum by being positive than you would by being negative.

In fact, there's not a team in the world that responds well to exclusively negative communication. In fact, you look at any great coach, you look at any great mentor, you look at any great leader, they're able to inspire people to be their best selves. People do not become their best selves through criticism. In fact, through criticism, people learn how to criticize and they learn how to hide. When you tell people what they're doing right, they learn how to congratulate each other and they learn how to put themselves out there.

I loved getting the message this week from our client, and I haven't asked him to share this yet. If he hears this podcast and he says it's okay, then I've got a lot more to share about him and our interactions because he's absolutely amazing. I didn't want to wait to be able to share this insight with you because the sooner you realize that you become your team's inner voice ... In fact, you can go back to listen to my podcast called You Become Their Inner Voice ... The more you realize that you are a massive influence on your team.

What do you want that inner voice to say? Do you want their inner voice to repeat and be echoing in their head, "Hey, this is great. This is amazing. You're amazing. I'm so proud of you. I'm excited that we're working together. I'm excited we're achieving together"? Or, do you want that inner voice to say, "You're wrong. You're not doing it right. Be More careful, be more tentative, hide"?

It's up to you because the more positive you are with your team, the more you give them accolade, the more you live up to that 5 to 1 Rule of five positive interactions for every corrective one so that you're heard, the more momentum you and your team create.

This is one of those changes in behavior that takes faith on your part. This is one of those changes in behavior where it's going to kind of feel, especially if you're one of those people who hasn't been positive with your team ... When you first start doing it, I want you to know something. When you go to say, "Hey, I'm really proud of you," or "This is great" or "Thank you" or "You did an amazing job here," your brain is going to default to "but."

It's going to have a "but" and you're going to hear the "but" in your head. You're going to say, "Hey, this is great, but I wanted you to do this. Hey, this is really amazing, but we could have done it this way. Hey, I'm really proud of you, but you could have done better."

I want you to do something. Get rid of everything after the "but." Don't even say it. Just tell your team where you're proud of them, where you're excited about it, where you're excited about what they've done, where they've helped you create momentum, and you will see a massive shift in the people you work with.

I don't care if you work with 1, 100, 1,000 or 100,000, it doesn't matter. The more they see you as someone who is positive, the more they see you as someone who helps them understand where they're doing their best work, the more they see you as someone who supports them, and is excited for them, and is giving them positive feedback, the more they are going to put themselves out there, be vulnerable, make things happen, take risks in your organization.

They will make some mistakes, but here's the fact. As entrepreneurs, we need people who put themselves out there, who become vulnerable, who go to the edge because that's what we expect from our teams. Anything else feels like they just aren't going fast enough. If you want to speed up your team, get more done than you ever thought possible, increase your ratio of success and put it through the roof, start telling your team what they did right and you will see a massive change in behavior.

If you're ready to start building the team you've always known you wanted and communicate with them in a way that keeps everybody going in the same direction, and grows your business incredibly fast, go to Fill out the short application, and you'll end up on the phone with me or a member of my team.

We're ready to help you because if you created an opportunity that's bigger than you can fulfill right now, if you know you could be doing more and you're leaving money on the table, if you know you could be making a bigger outcome and helping more people, you just don't have the right team and the right infrastructure around you to be able to do it today, let us help you.

You do not have to do this alone, and the code has been cracked. We can help you do this in a way that makes it easier for you, that helps you build a team around exactly who you are, gives you leverage for what you want to do in your business and creates massive momentum.

Go to a, and we look forward to talking to you. When it comes to communication with your team, remember you're not only becoming their inner voice, but you're one of the most important people in their lives. Tell them what they're doing right, and you will see everything move in a new direction.

Thank You For Listening!

I am truly grateful that you have chosen to spend your time listening to me and my podcast.

Please feel free to reach out if you have a question or feedback via our Contact Us page.

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With gratitude,


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