Today I would like to talk about the value in something that I feel we all need from time to time and that is “Praise”. It’s my opinion that as human beings we all need reassurance occasionally for many different reasons among them the need to feel self worth, the need to feel as if you are contributing to a common goal, and the need to feel as if your actions provide value to somebody else. I recently was put into a situation where I observed “Praise” being dished out in great abundance in a short time frame and what became immediately apparent was the participants began feeding off each others energy and the situation rapidly deteriorated into a high fiving, back patting, disingenuous “good jobbing” ego stroke-fest. It wasn’t that “Good jobs” were not deserved but what ensued appeared to be nothing more than a very fake attempt at “Team-Building”, it came off as very shallow and somewhat comical in nature!
After a quick analysis of the situation I came to realize that it if “Praise” is not given at the proper time, place and frequency then the “value of praise” is greatly diminished and its effectiveness is lost to some degree. I have came up with five points that one should think about when dispensing “Praise” to somebody else.
#1– Don’t be vague or give open-ended, blanket statement praises. Be very specific and don’t just praise the obvious. Praise the little thing that the person receiving the praise wouldn’t even expect to be praised on.
#2-Give somebody praise through a few other people, sort of like positive reinforcement
rumour-mongering. Imagine if you heard through the grapevine that your boss is very
pleased with the great job you are doing!
#3-Even if someone is a natural born winner they are still deserving of praise too, it can’t be perceived that one is favored over the other through the use of praise.
#4-One should NEVER back up praise with a work request or favor to be asked! If you want to devalue your praise faster than anything ask for the praise recipient to do that task that you’ve been putting off forever!
#5-Timing of praise is very important. At the end of the day after doing battle in the trenches and winning sometimes a simple “Hey great job today Mike”! will really put the icing on someones cake. At the same time if someone might be struggling with something a small victory could be praised and give an added confidence boost to help the person push on to victory throughout the day.
I really feel that with careful contemplation on how praise is used the value of it can be maximised for full effectiveness. It is a tool that can be a confidence booster, a calmer of frazzled nerves and a production jump starter to a person who may feel like they are not a valuable asset to a company or team.
So I must ask: What are your thoughts on the Value of Praise?