Caught Being Good

Many moons ago, the elementary school I attended did something called "caught being good." The idea was simple: Teachers carried around little slips of paper that had "_________ was caught being good" written on the front. They were always on the lookout for kids who were doing the right thing without a knowledge that anyone was watching. When they "caught" you doing something good, they would pull one of those slips out of the paper, write your name on it, and you got to take it to the principal for a "high five."

That was it.

You got a piece of paper, walked to the principal's office, he gave you a high five, and you walked back to class.

The purpose is obvious: good behavior is positively reinforced and rewarded. As a result, students were encouraged that people were watching you do the little things right even when you didn't think they were.

The "prize" wasn't tangible. It cost however much 1/8th of a piece of computer paper costs. We didn't receive a free pizza party, or a sticker, or anything. We got a piece of paper and a high five, but I guarantee you I could find some of those pieces of paper to this day.

In your organization/home/business/church, how frequently do you take the time to celebrate people who are "caught being good?" When you catch people doing the things your organization values behind the scenes, make sure to let them know you notice. Make sure you tell them exactly what you noticed and why it's important. And don't forget to give them a high five. If they're anything like me, they'll remember it forever.