One of my favourite musicians, Jane Monheit was playing at Jazz Alley in Seattle. My mum was visiting from England, so I took her to her first Jazz concert.
After a particularly impressive bass solo the audience applauded, yet the piece wasn't over. I caught my mum's puzzled face and realized I had to explain how and when people applaud in jazz clubs.
Being in a new environment, you have to learn the culturally acceptable ways to give praise and feedback. My mum quickly learned that evening to clap mid tune, it triggered me to reflect on how people give and receive feedback.
When I first moved to the US from England, I was a little overwhelmed by all of the random comments like "great job!" and "that was awesome!" about achievements that seemed insignificant to me. In England positive praise is limited and is only given when something truly remarkable happens. I eventually learned I needed to adapt how I gave praise to those around me, and how graciously I needed to receive the accolades.
- How are you spontaneously giving positive feedback to your team?
- Do you overly focus on feedback about what isn't working?
- Are you projecting how you like to receive feedback or are you adapting to what your team and environment demands?
If you can become more conscious of the cultural norms with your own environment and what your team needs from you, then you will increase their commitment and engagement.
If in doubt - ask someone.
That will be AWESOME!