I live for pats on the back. They keep me motivated and are a much appreciated reward for a job well done. There are even times I resent not receiving my duly earned recognition, and therefore, as a manager, I do my best to ensure everyone on my team is recognized for a job well done. I do this through a variety of different mediums…verbally, publicly, in an email, a personal note, or through some type of gift. It’s a vicious animal; I appreciate when I am recognized, therefore work hard to receive said recognition, and I assumed everyone appreciates recognition as much as I do. I was an unconsciously competent manager.
We all have them, a set of innate preferences and intrinsic motivators which unconsciously impact our lives on a daily basis. This group of preferences is at the core of who we are as a person and largely dictates our managerial/leadership style. As leaders, we unconsciously create an environment around ourselves which aligns with our own motivators and preferences. As in the example above, I was managing my team based on my own preference for pats on the back, assuming everyone valued recognition as a motivator. It was not until I fully understood my own unconscious biases that I could understand the impact they had on my managerial effectiveness.