Four Leadership Responses to Performance


Each person’s every act of performance necessitates a response. Be it a daily routine or a significant change of behavior, every act of performance does generate a response. As a leader, you communicate a response even when you do not respond. And each response communicates. The question becomes, what are you communicating. It may not be even close to what you believe to be communicating.

There are basically four types of response rendered for someone’s acts of performance. First, affirmative response of encouragement. This is where the person is recognized and congratulated by superiors for his/her performance. Congratulations can come in the form of personal praise from a supervisor or the organization leadership. It could also come in the form of remuneration or reward. Contrary to the belief of some, most people prefer the first to the latter. While money or other rewards are good and I doubt many would not accept those, the greatest reception is of recognition by supervisors and leaders.

The second response type is a negative response. This happens when an employee/volunteer falls short in his/her performance and corrective action is needed. When the negative performance action is met with only negative responses from leadership, correction is seldom established. Negative responses from leadership almost always result in a negative reaction from the employee and his/her performance. Poor or negative performance can have negative consequences but should not be met with only a negative response. This will never build to better performance.

The third response is corrective. A corrective response occurs when performance is sub-par and some behavioral change needs to transpire. In his case, the leader attempts to guide the underperformer through a redirection of his/her behavior patterns. A corrective response from a leader carries a more positive nature to the underperformer. Therefore, he/she will be more prone to attempt the needed adjustments.

The fourth response is no response at all. Of all the responses a leader can give, no response is the gravest of all.  Giving no feedback or response to good or bad behavior promotes poor behavior patterns, shuns good behavior, and will certainly lower morale among all employees/volunteers.

Do you want to positively impact and influence the performance of those in your circle of influence? Performance is greatly influenced by responses and reactions of leaders. What will you do this week to positively impact the performance of others around you?

George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at

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