The Impact of Positive Interactions

Leaders who frequently give positive praise, recognition, and feedback to their people will cultivate a dynamic work environment. This can be magnified when the positive interaction is:

• Specific- Focusing on the actions, tasks, or behavior that you want to reinforce (or recognize).

• Sincere- Positive interactions must be genuine, authentic, and heartfelt.

• Timely- Given in close proximity to when the action or behavior was shown.

One key aspect to remember is that a positive interaction can be planed or done in the spur of the moment. When you initiate positive interactions with team members (or those around you) it has the potential to greatly impact them. Below are 2 valuable benefits that come from positive interactions:

1. It breeds motivation-

Positive interactions between the influencer and the follower, has the power to bring inspiration and motivation to the person. It can motivate a person to strive for higher levels of performance, make progress on their (personal or professional) goals, and bring the inspiration to persevere until the completion of a big project.

When I was living in Portland Oregon, I worked as a Case Manager for adolescents who were in drug & alcohol rehab. It was a demanding and stressful position. However, one of the main reasons why I stayed in this position was greatly due to the positive interactions from my manager. Her kind and positive words motivated me to endure through the challenges of that position. Be a leader who breeds motivation through your words and actions.

2. It creates energy-

A positive work environment creates energy while a hostile work environment deflates energy. It’s crucial that leaders create a culture where their people know they will be encouraged, affirmed, rewarded, and appropriately disciplined. A leader who does this will soon start to see an increase of energy and engagement from team members. Remember that your positive interactions touch the heart and emotions of the person which will result in a positive outcome. Be a leader who creates energy though your positive interactions.

Question: Can you add to the list? What are some other benefits that result from positive interactions?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I’m sure this is implied in your list Dan but I think a positive approach gives people the “I want to go to work” feeling. There is a “want to” when it comes to going and being at work. Far different from one who feels like “I have to go to work.”

    • Yes, it sure does. Those who want to go to work will be more effective while they are their. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read and comment.

  • I like the points. I think one of the added benefits is the gratification and wisdom gained by all parties when a positive role has been given and success is attained. It’s a foundation for future growth.

    • Great thoughts, Floyd! It’s a win-win situation. I like your last sentence, so true. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  • With my businesses I want my crew to want to work hard for me and to stay around lowering turnover. Speaking positive things into there lives accomplishes this. It is amazing how many people are told they are worthless and good for nothing. It is amazing to watch them grow in a positive environment. My favorite part of leading is showing people there potential. Great post Dan!

    • Your sure a great leader man. Having that attitude will defiantly attract and retain talented people. I can’t wait to hear all of the benefit results of your efforts. Thank you for taking the time to share from your life.

  • Dan, I am stuck on your bullet point #3 which is timely. After reading this, I had to read it another 3 times. Timely Leadership is critical, and as Leaders we don’t even know when that positive interaction that we get or we share is timely for someone else. Its the sole reason why we need to keep sharing no matter what.

    • Hey Lincoln,

      First off, it’s great to hear from you. I hope your doing well.

      Knowing that really takes discernment (while other times it’s clear). Thank you for adding to the topic.

      • Same here Dan. Doing well, had a period of pure focus. Can’t wait to connect again.

  • Y’know Dan, it takes a talented leader to do this. Especially when the words are timely. And especially when praise isn’t given just for the sake of it. ….

    • Yeah, I really agree with this. I think it’s becoming more and more apparent how big a deal emotional intelligence and sensitivity is to being a good leader.

    • It’s good to know that this is a skill that can be learned. We just have to implement it into our life. Thank you for stopping by to share.

  • Having a pleasant work environment (or really any environment) can really make or break a day/situation/career/family or whatever.

    Great job encouraging others.

    • That’s defiantly true, TC Avey. It does not just effect our work but every other area of our life.

      I’m glad the post encouraged you:)

  • I think having this kind of positive approach toward managing people always brings more out of them. It’s far easier to take ownership of a project in which you feel your input is valued. Not only does it keep you motivated, it gives you the confidence to feel your ideas are contributing. Good for the work environment, good for the project being worked on, and ultimately good for the person leading too.

    • Yes, great things happen when we add value to those who follow us. It creates a dynamic work environment. Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the conversation.

  • Two other benefits from positive interactions:

    1. The possibility of following up successfully on the interaction and turning it into something larger.

    2. Getting a better day :)

    • Hello Ludvig,

      Great additions man! Thank you for adding to the post. I appreciate it.

  • I think it also creates a culture. It’s not just about what the leader says, but also about team members that follow the lead and spread positivity around the workplace.

    • Great point, it sure does create a positive culture. Thank you for taking the time to add to the discussion.

  • I believe positive actions truly unleash the potential of an individual. I see so many who have grown up in an environment where they lacked mentors, coaches and people who had a direct interest in their well-being. Positive interactions give us hope that we tok can be great, that is in God’s eyes.

    • Great thoughts, Paul! Those are some other wonderful benefits. I’ve been greatly impacted and shape through the words of pastors and mentors that have been in my life. I’m sure you have people like that as well.

  • When I think back over the jobs I’ve had, I can place my leadership into two categories, ones characterized by positive interactions and those characterized by negative ones. Not sure any were in between. Sure, there were rough days with the positive ones and good days with the negative, but each one has one overall style that I remember regarding interactions. Strangely, I learned a lot from both. My interactions today with leadership pulls directly from these lessons. But the ones with positive interactions impact how I choose to act, while the negative ones are what I avoid not only in my own interactions but with those who have those negative habits too. My point is that the interactions with a leaders, whether positive or negative, shapes you as an individual in so many ways. We simply have to realize the impact we have on those who follow us as leaders.

    • Hello Kari,

      Great thoughts, it’s amazing how we can remember the interactions (both good and bad) we have had with other people, even years after. I really liked how you said you learned from both the good and bad interactions, that’s something everyone should remember. Thank you for reading and adding to the topic. I appreciate you.

  • Positive interactions can also build good working bonds. Let’s say that two strangers need to work together and don’t have much interaction. That’s not exactly a good working relationship; they just don’t know each other. With good positive interactions, people get to know each other and work better with each other.

    • That’s defiantly true, Steve. Something to remember when a new person joins the team. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  • It’s so crucial to be positive. Negativeness can kill an organization and really bring people down, there’s too much of that in the world!

    • I totally agree, Kimanzi. It’s why people like us are here, to create that change. Thank you for sharing.

  • Leaders who have encouraged me made me look forward to meetings with them and that’s huge!

    • It sounds like you have some great leaders around you:)

  • Dan, definitely positive leaders encourage and motivate their people much more. And it’s not that hard to do. I think you lay out 3 solid tips that anyone can use to encourage and lead people from a positive place. it just takes a commitment to being positive and a commitment to positive feedback.

    There’s so many ways to critique or mentor someone. My worst supervisors were critical and condescending. My best ones were positive, uplifting and encouraging. You encourage people to be even more committed and dedicated to a cause or business when you treat them well.

    Having worked in nonprofits, I know the effectiveness of treating your volunteers well as far as they are likelihood to do more and to keep on coming back.

    • Commitment to be positive is key! Great point.

      I’ve learned that you get more from your people when you are positive and encouraging. I’ve had several non-profit jobs and have seen the negative impact that comes when a manager uses their words wrong. I’ve also sen the positive impact as well.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • Good words keep me going through the bad times. They prop me up when i feel like quitting

    • Great thoughts, thank you for sharing, David.

  • Dan – one of the great things about specific and positive feedback is that it builds the credibility of the person providing the feedback. If I give a specific compliment, it shows that I am paying attention, not just saying a generic “thank you” or “good job.”

    • Hello Jon,

      I totally agree, heartfelt specific praise is valuable. It allows people to see that we truly care about them and the work they are doing. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  • Love the points you made here. I might add positive interactions is what sets us apart, and builds influence.

    • Great addition, Don! Thank you for reading and taking the time to add to the discussion.

  • Rainer Proksch

    Nice topic discussed here. Positive interactions will help us to have positive people around us. A nice positive comment or suggestion can win the hearts of people.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, it sure can. The key is to be intentional about the positive interactions, which at times can be difficult to remember. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      ps. What’s your site/blog URL? I’ve read it but don’t remember the name:)

      • Rainer Proksch

        Hello Dan,

        Your articles are so much inspiring and thought provoking that it offers something positive for life and living. Thanks for sharing such wonderful articles with us.

        My blog url is http://mconception.com/blog/ and apart from my own blog articles, currently I am writing reviews about interesting blog articles that I go through while searching through the web. I will be glad if you can take time to visit my blog and comment on my articles.

        • Thank you for the kind and encouraging words. My desire is to serve and help people become better influences.

          I visited and subscribed (via email) to your blog. I’m looking forward to reading your blog and connecting with you in 2014!

          • Rainer Proksch

            Thank you for subscribing my blog articles :)
            Lets hope 2014 will be a wonderful year and I wish you all the success in this year!

            • Your welcome:) Yes, it’s going to be great to connect with you more and help each other out this year.

  • I agree with what you wrote here Dan. Just from our short conversation I felt better. More motivated and happier to connect with another person. It made me want to continue, and search for like minded people.

    To add to your list, it benefits the person being positive. Not only does he feel great about helping others, but in turn helps another great. Win-Win.

    • It creates a win-win situation, I felt the same way:) I always enjoy finding like minded people! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the post.