Notes From Rob Coats SMC CEO

Notes from the CEO: Catch People Doing Something Right

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In their book, One Minute Manager, Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson coined the term “Catch people doing something right” – the opposite of the typical approach to negative management. It sets an amazingly positive tone when applied in the workplace. It is sometimes also called “On target feedback”. When you tell a team member they did something wrong, they don’t always know what they should have done, and, of course, they don’t feel very good about the reprimand. When you catch someone doing what you really want, telling them “This is exactly the behavior I want!”, does several things. First, they immediately feel good about the compliment (after they get over the surprise of this unusual comment). Second, they know exactly what your expectations are, because they just performed it. In addition, if other folks happened to overhear the exchange, your team member just got patted on the back in front of their peers.

Clearly, there will always be a balance of negative feedback to go along with the positive, but try this approach for stroking your folks, and the atmosphere in your workplace will be changed for the better.

About Rob Coats, CEO

Rob Coats is the Chief Executive Officer of SMC Manufacturing ServicesRob brings more than thirty-five years of manufacturing experience to SMC. He spent the first part of his career in manufacturing management with Procter & Gamble before coming to Lexington to manage the operations of a small manufacturer. His first position with ownership was a wire harness company near Lexington. After that business sold, Rob purchased SMC as the majority owner in 1994. Sales grew by 7X over the next thirteen years due to a stellar group of key employees. Rob holds a B.S. in Engineering and a MBA from Virginia Tech.


SMC is a print circuit board assembly manufacturer, custom cable assembly provider, system integration/box build manufacturer that is located in the heart of Kentucky. Our two locations provide quick and easy access for the technology industry in the eastern region.

We specialize and are certified to manufacture products in the medical, security, military/DOD, industrial controls, construction, and transportation industries.  To maximize customer support, we have created five separate engineering departments: process, test, customer, system integration, and quality engineering. These departments offer world class engineering support and product development. SMC has the EMS solutions you need to ensure quality electronic products at a competitive cost.