Lift: Case Study-Work Facts Not Emotions


FROM THE NEW BOOK Lift: Five Practices Great Managers Do Consistently by Raymond L. Wheeler

Case Study: Work Facts, Not Emotion

Engage the rigor needed to define excellent performance so that feedback and coaching focus on measurable outcomes and actions. Without transparent metrics, management can tend to whiplash between emotional outbursts and relative calm while trying to motivate better production outcomes.


The customer service manager of a hospitality software company hoped to reduce turnover by offering pay incentives to technicians. Her prior attempts at accentuating the need for better performance had not worked. The company’s clients reported a high level of dissatisfaction with the quality, timeliness, and professionalism of customer service calls.


Coaching helped the manager grasp rather than gloss over the reality of her group’s poor performance. By defining the metrics that made up excellent customer service (skills, attitude, benchmarks), she designed a coaching/training program to improve outcomes. She matched pay incentives to measurable learning outcomes that enhanced customer service. 


Within several months customers voluntarily commented with delight in the improved operation of the customer service team. Customer service team members self-eliminated or stepped up to the new expectations. Manager morale improved, and self-reported stress decreased.


Working facts, not emotion changes the feel of a company from one of beleaguered managers, dictatorial tirades, emotionally charged yelling matches consumed with employee failure to a developmental culture that offers a way to succeed. Working facts rather than emotions is accomplished by:

  • Distinguish between faith and optimism
  • Engage the rigor needed to define excellent performance
  • Place emphasis on coaching feedback, not punishment

Learn More

Some managers pull groups together to produce extraordinary results.  Others exist in chaos of emotional excesses and deficiencies.  Why? What is the difference between the two? Through a series of interviews and observations, Dr. Ray Wheeler identified five practices that characterize the actions of remarkable managers who Lift performance and morale by consistently building ownership, working facts, knowing their people and themselves, managing activities, and building a climate of hope. In illustrating the components of the five practices of Lift with case studies and clear explanations, Ray offers a way forward for anyone looking to improve the way they manage their team.

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