Offering positive rewards to encourage certain behavior takes patience, but it works. Here’s David with more.
Hey, today I want to talk about the power of positive reinforcement. I got a really nice email from a former shipmate of mine, from when I served as second in command on the USS Hawkbill, which was a fast running, fast attack submarine out in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. And we had this officers meeting with me and the officers (not the captain) every morning. And when I first got there, I noticed that not many of the officers were wearing their name tags, and this is part of the uniform, but also kind of sets a standard that would trickle down to the ship. So I said to the one officer wearing his nametag and said, “Hey, thanks for wearing your name tag.” And then every day I just reiterated that appreciation for the officer and the officers who were wearing their name tags. And that was sort of the start of this improvement in the way the officers comported themselves, the way they demonstrated high standards and then that trickled down to the ship. It took some patience. And geez, I really wanted to take a shortcut and say, “Hey, you guys need to wear your nametag!” And I just really had to resist that. But through just consistently reinforcing the right standards, it worked. So let me know what your favorite stories are here below. Stories where simply reiterating the right way to do it. “Hey, it’s like this.” That’s what we’re talking about is the way it works. I’m David Marquet. That’s your Leadership Nudge.