Why is it important to give people praise? Because we want to know that we are significant. We want to be respected and appreciated. We long to feel that we matter, that our presence and our actions are relevant. When someone confirms our importance, we feel worthy. Acknowledging and praising contributions also encourages excellence.
Appreciation yields large benefits, but it can be done poorly. Compare the impact of telling someone, “Good job!” as you pass them in the hallway, versus addressing them in front of the team and saying, “Mark, when I got that extraordinary feedback from our client on your performance, I felt really proud. I am delighted to have you on our team. I admire your dedication and commitment to excellence. Thank you for your great effort.” If you were Mark, which one would make you shine the most? Powerful praise is direct, specific, and respectful.
Heartfelt appreciation is not brown nosing! I hear that from time to time. When you accuse someone of brown nosing, you are saying that they are insincere and looking for a pay back of some kind. It’s highly insulting. I know that it can be hard to accept heartfelt praise. Even though we want it, we can be embarrassed by it. I challenge you to get beyond that feeling. Accepting appreciation gracefully and humbly is a sign of emotional competence. It honors the one giving appreciation.
We all have many commitments to meet both professionally and personally. Work commitments can be heavy and family commitments can be as well. We race from place to place and forget what matters. You may have heard the expression, “When the universe knocks, who do you choose to be?” I choose to resist the feeling of overwhelm and be thankful for the wonderful co-workers, friends, and family I am blessed to have.
Who can you appreciate today?
P.S. I will lead a management training series through the Larimer County Workforce Center starting May 6th. Please consider joining me. For more information and to register go to http://larimerworkforce.org/workshops/business-workshops-and-roundtables/