Reinforce Positive Behavior with Appropriate Rewards ⋆ Politicrossing
Connect with us

Business

Reinforce Positive Behavior with Appropriate Rewards

Much of human behavioral psychology can be explained by the simple phrase, “Behavior that is rewarded is repeated”

Published

on

Much of human behavioral psychology can be explained by the simple phrase “Behavior that is rewarded is repeated.” This is true even when you reward yourself for your own behavior. To accomplish more right here, right now, identify in advance a “reward” that you’ll bestow upon yourself for completing a desired task.

Easy Does It

The reward might be as simple as making a phone call. It might be taking a stroll around the block. It could be checking e-mail, having a cup of herbal tea, totaling up your earnings for the last quarter, or any other small, favorable event. Dr. Aubrey Daniels, in his book Bringing Out the Best in People, calls this the Grandma Principle — scheduling a reward following a good performance. As Grandma would say, you don’t get to eat your ice cream until you eat your spinach!

If you’re facing an unpleasant task, it makes sense to follow that up with something you enjoy doing, instead of the other way around.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Antifa is back in force

Effects of Rewards

Think of Pavlov and his dogs. If you set up a series of rewards for yourself for accomplishing small steps on the path to getting something done, you have a greater probability of being successful. Behavior which is positively reinforced gets repeated.

The rewards can take various forms. For accomplishing a particular activity, you may decide that calling a friend is a sufficient reward for your mini-accomplishment. For other people, it could be a stroll around the block, a favorite snack, a 20-minute nap, or logging on to that forbidden web.

The order is essential to this technique. Work precedes reward. The major problem with giving yourself the reward first and then tackling a task is that you’ve effectively removed the incentive.

Yes, it’s possible that you’re one of those few diligent types who are able to receive a reward first and then make good on the silent, un-articulated promise to yourself, go ahead and complete the task that remained to be done. For most people however, life doesn’t seem to work this way.

After having the reward first, i.e. doing the pleasant activity, what’s to stop you from having another reward and another? Adhering to the Grandma Principle helps to develop personal discipline that will carry you through the days, weeks, months and long years of your career. We all need that kind of discipline today!

Instrumental Temptations

If you are subject to temptations, and who isn’t, find a way to include them into your rewards system. Rather than entirely succumbing to such distractions, you get to enjoy of them periodically throughout the day in small measures not detrimental to your productivity or long-term career prospects. That way, you maintain a modicum of control; to do otherwise is to flirt with disaster.

Thereafter, you go from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, without getting the small things done and having them build up, each one looming larger than they actually are, while impeding your progress on longer term projects and tasks.

Discombobulated people go from incompletion to incompletion, having every other thing in their work and domestic life in an unfinished state, yielding a gnawing sense of anxiety, a lack of closure, and the feeling of being boxed in on all sides. Do you want to feel like this perpetually? Probably not. So find a way to incorporate temptations into your rewards system rather than entirely succumbing to them and inhibiting your productivity.

In any case, giving your total attention to the task at hand yields wondrous benefits that might not otherwise be achievable!

– – – – –

 

We'd love to hear your thoughts about this article. Please take a minute to share them in the comment section by clicking here. Or carry the conversation over on your favorite social network by clicking one of the share buttons below.


Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.



Business

Smart Move in a Rough Economy: Help Your Boss to Shine

Stay on top of your job, your department’s goals, and your company’s objectives

Published

on

Making your boss look good can only reflect favorably on you. Both your boss and his or her supervisors will appreciate this.

The best way to make your boss look good is to handle your work efficiently and thoroughly. If your boss is fair, he or she will give you credit for the work, increasing your chances of promotion.

If your boss is not doing his or her share of the work, leaning on you unfairly without giving you the credit, it’s still likely that you’ll be promoted when your boss is promoted. That person knows you’ve been doing more than your share, and he or she won’t be able to take a new position without your help.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Antifa is back in force

Becoming a Mentor to Others

Maybe you’re only 27 years old, or perhaps you’ve only been with your present firm for a year and a half. Yet, with your previous experience and achievements, you may already be in a position to serve as a mentor to junior members of your organization. This can be accomplished on an informal, ad hoc basis, and you can literally choose the amount of energy you’re willing to commit. Helping junior members always looks good to those above you, especially at performance review time.

Stay on top of your job, your department’s goals, and your company’s objectives. This three-way strategy includes reviewing your job description, deciding precisely what your department’s goals are, and determining your company’s objectives:

Your Job Description

First, knowing your job description and honoring it, or amending it if necessary, protect you from any misunderstandings. It will also give you an idea of the part you play in the total picture of the organization, an important factor in your work satisfaction and chance of promotion.

Your job description ideally contains all the important activities of your position, the knowledge you need to have or acquire to perform those activities, and some sense of your overall role. If your job description does not adequately detail the information you need to know and the responsibilities you have, now is the time to change it.

Company Goals

Second, learn and understand the goals of your part of the company. By whatever method your organization is broken into groups — department, division, project team — your group has objectives.

Goals are important to guide actions as well as to mark milestones. Knowing your group’s goals will help you to set priorities for your own work and make wise decisions concerning how jobs can best be done.

What is the Mission?

Finally, be aware of your organization’s mission. Any organization, from the smallest business to the multibillion-dollar corporation, has a mission. If you don’t already know it, find out. Your organization’s brochure, annual report, promotional literature, or employee handbook will have the mission spelled out.

The mission will unify and give meaning to all the division or department goals. Although conflicts among divisions will occur because of the nature of different responsibilities, a solid base can be produced when all employees realize the overall mission of the organization.

– – – – –

Continue Reading

Business

Lessons of the 2020s: Unanticipated Events Happen

Unforeseen tasks that arise represent intrusions on our mental and emotional state of being as well as on our time

Published

on

By now, nearly everyone has mentally marked the first few years of this decade as strange and, for those on the right, entirely upsetting. While we can’t guard against the unknown, or anticipate radical moves emanating from Washington DC, we can seek to do our best with what we have and what we know.

Each day when you compose your to-do list and begin proceeding merrily down it, do you take into account what is likely to occur in the course of a day? No matter how well we organize our lists and how productive we are in handling the products and tasks unexpected obligations, interruptions, and other developments arise that are going to throw us off.

How do you react when you are humming along, and all of a sudden, you get an assignment from out of left field? Perhaps your boss has asked you to jump on something immediately. Maybe a client calls. Maybe something gets returned to you that you thought was complete.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Antifa is back in force

To Be Flustered No More

If you are like most professionals, you immediately will become flustered. The intrusion on your time and your progress means that you are not going to accomplish all that you set out to before the end of the day. Is there a way to proceed and still feel good about all that you accomplish?

I believe there is, and it involves first making a miniature, supplemental to-do list that accurately encapsulates the new task that you need to handle. Why create this supplemental to-do list? It gives you focus and direction, reduces anxiety, and increases the probability that you will remain buoyant at the time of its completion and be able to turn back to what you were doing before the task was assigned.

If you don’t compose such a list, and simply plow headlong into the unexpected challenge that has come your way, you might not proceed effectively, and you might never get back to the to-do list on which you were working.

Anticipating the Unexpected

Unforeseen tasks that arise represent more than intrusions on our time; they represent intrusions on our mental and emotional state of being. Some people are naturally good at handling unexpected situations. Most of us, however, are not wired like this. Interruptions and intrusions on our workday take us off the path that we wanted to follow, and tend to be at least momentarily upsetting.

So… when executing the items on your to-do list, proceed ‘knowing’ that there will be an interruption of some sort. You don’t know when it is coming or how large it will be, but it will pull you off course. The key question for you is: can you develop the capacity to maintain balance and equanimity in the face of such disruptions?

The good news is that you can, and it all starts with acknowledging that the situation is likely to happen, devising a supplemental checklist to handle the new task, and as deftly as possible, returning to what you were doing.

– – – – –

 

 

Continue Reading

 

Our Newsletter

Become a Politicrossing insider: Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Sites We Like

Our Newsletter

Become a PolitiCrossing insider: Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Trending