Success Lesson: Eliminate The Negative And Accentuate The Positive In Your Life

Zig Ziglar motivational speakerAccentuate The Positive. That was the title of a popular song of yesteryear. Unfortunately, according to Aubrey C. Daniels, Ph.D., and Neil Baum, M.D., in too many businesses we are managed in the negative rather than in the positive. They point out that management often says to their staff, “Don’t mention the competitor’s product,” or “Don’t forget to make five cold calls this week.”

Employees are motivated by more than money…

“That which is recognized and rewarded is repeated,” is a truism. If employees get attention through the use of the negative, unfortunately, they will continue in that behavior. The good doctors point out that if employees receive positive reinforcement for behavior, they’re likely to repeat those actions and that, “Employees are not primarily motivated by money. Money will get them to show up, but once they have checked in or reported for duty, they are more influenced by other elements in their environments.”

Nearly everyone is motivated by positive attention from their managers and peers. Some respond to physical reminders, like a note or a bouquet of flowers. Others will thrive on public recognition at a sales meeting. But some may be embarrassed if their name is called out in public and they are asked to come forward and accept their reward or recognition. That’s why astute managers are sensitive to each person’s personal preferences; and understand that what makes one person tick, may stop another’s clock in its tracks.

The best way to show appropriate recognition is to get to know people and reinforce their positive performance with things that are important to them. Sometimes even a card, a note, a fax, recognition for acquiring a new account or simply for maintaining such an upbeat, positive, cheerful attitude, will be the very reinforcement they need.

I’m talking about motivation, not manipulation. When only the manipulator wins, somebody else loses. In the business world, as well as in our social and family life, if the other person wins, you win, too. Give it a try. Put it to work, and I’ll see you at the top!
Zig Ziglar was a teacher and motivator. You can receive the Ziglar newsletter filled with more of his inspiring stories as well as practical ideas to help you in the areas of sales, marketing, customer service, and related topics. You can learn more about him at