“Why would that make you worry?”
“I think she may have an ulterior motive.”
“You know we are opening a new location, and I’ve told her that I do not want to transfer. She may be thinking about moving me to the new site.”
How is it that we have taken a concept like “sincere appreciation” and turned it into something suspicious?
Maybe it’s because we have introduced practices like balanced feedback—identify what is good and what needs improvement. Maybe it’s because performance appraisal systems discourage unqualified high appraisals—try turning in an exceptionally-high appraisal with no suggestions for improvement. Maybe the concept “you can always improve” pervades leader-employee relationships.
Unequivocal confirmation occurs when a leader tells an employee something the employee knows to be true without “if’s,” “and’s,” or “but’s.” Leaders practice pure confirmation so rarely that employees become suspicious when they hear it.
Employees (people) need to be confirmed. It is not a psychological need; it is a physiological need. Unequivocal confirmation releases endorphins (chemicals that create a sense of well-being) in our brains. Insightful leaders realize that unequivocal confirmation increases both employee engagement and satisfaction.