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The Power of Praise

Whether you’re a parent, aunt/uncle, grandparent, godparent, etc., you’ll understand the power of praise on a young one. How it can turn around negative behaviours and instill self-confidence, esteem and a positive work ethic that provide the foundations for success in life.

Why then when we find it so easy to reward young ones, do some find it difficult to do the same with work colleagues and people who report to them? People leaders have a dual responsibility, dealing with the business as usual (BAU) stuff as well as motivating and engaging their people to do their best and deliver superior results. Often the ‘busyness’ of the BAU gets in the way. Sometimes it’s about difficulty with giving others recognition, insecurity as a leader (don’t want them to outshine me) or a belief in ‘tough management’. Whatever the reason, get over it.

The research is clear, when people receive praise it results in them doing more of the same that got them the praise. That’s good for people performance, for your performance as a leader and for your business. So step away from your desk, take a walk and find at least 3 occasions every day to recognise somebody. That’s 15 hits a week; 15 people who go away feeling engaged and motivated. Vary your ways of rewarding so it’s not the same old, same old: verbal praise, a card, an email, a pizza voucher (I know of one leader who walks around with a stash of these in their pocket. Nice touch.)

One caveat though. Ensure that the praise/reward hits the mark and is deserved. Instead of just ‘good job’ tell them:sprinkles

  • What they did
  • How you felt about what they did
  • How it made a difference
  • How it meets your company goal, vision, whatever. (I call this the chocolate sprinkles part of feedback. I mean, who likes plain vanilla?).

So go ahead. Make… somebody’s day!

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