Daily Leadership Tip #27 – Praise the Baby Steps

Doug Staneart  |  June 18, 2022

Praise is like sunlight to the human spirit: we cannot flower and grow without it.” – Jess Lair

Daily Leadership Tip #27 - Praise the Baby StepsParents know that it takes patience, encouragement, and consistent action to teach a baby to walk. The baby takes one step and the parents cheer.

She falls down, the parents say, “That’s OK. You can do it!”

The baby walks just a few feet, and she’s a champion.

Why don’t we use the same encouragement for our employees and coworkers?


Most managers constantly call attention to the mistakes of their employees. Then they wonder why they must constantly look over the shoulders of their people. The secret to being a good manager is that whatever you call attention to, you get more of.

So, instead of pointing out the mistake, point out the improvement in the right direction.

If we want to build great leaders, we must help build their confidence as they gain experience. Call attention to their successes no matter how small these successes seem to be. When we do that, we are anchoring the positive behavior that they are exhibiting.

Want to change behavior? Try calling attention to someone’s mistake indirectly, and then watch to see how the behavior changes.

When you catch that person doing things the right way, praise the improvement. Chances are that you’ll begin to see this behavior more consistently.

Praise improvements in the right direction, and you’ll build strong leaders around you.

Week #4: Developing Leaders Around You.

Principle #27: Praise the Baby Steps.

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author Doug Staneart
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Doug Staneart is president of The Leader's Institute ®. He is based in the Dallas, Texas Region. He is a specialist in corporate team building activities and custom presentation skills seminars.