I recently spent the weekend with my grandsons. They are both adorable. The oldest is nearly two. A toddler. A full on toddler with a seriously strong and direct throwing arm.  The youngest is only a couple of months old.

As you can imagine life is pretty full on. Never a dull moment.

I am constantly just so impressed with how well our eldest daughter and her husband does with managing their toddler’s behaviour.  At the moment, they are sleep deprived, run down and in the trenches. They could so easily notice all the things the toddler does wrong. The food accidentally ending up on the floor, flying teaspoons or a wayward ball ending up on little brother’s head.

But they don’t. They go out of their way not to notice; not to pay attention to behaviour that they don’t want. They don’t make a fuss about these things; they only make a fuss about the behaviour that they want more of.

They let my grandson take appropriate risks, they let him feed himself even though it’s extremely messy, they let him safely try things that he might not be able to achieve quite yet. They ask for his help, even though it is usually more work for them than help.

They notice and provide praise when he uses his manners, when the two year old uses his spoon well, when he is helpful or kind. The notice the behaviour they want more of and they let the rest go. They don’t make any fuss about the behaviour that they don’t want him to engage in.

Adults aren’t very different to toddlers. If you want your staff to model a certain behaviour or attitude then you need to focus on when they demonstrate that behaviour or attitude and not make a fuss about the behaviour you don’t want.  

Draw attention and praise what you want to see more of and you will get more of that behaviour.  At the same time you will create a culture that is positive and rewarding; where people are looking out for others to do the right thing. You will have less complaining and whinging; because that is not the behaviour you will encourage.

Focus on the positive and reap the rewards.


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