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The Way I See It… In Praise of Praise


Michael Massey of EQLS is in favour of that old-fashioned motivator – telling people they have done a good job.

Praise is a great motivator. Like small children we blossom and grow when we are praised or given encouragement. Praise punctures self-doubt and releases enthusiasm.

If there is no praise or recognition there is no joy and no motivation.

Given carelessly, praise can cause resentment and confusion. Praise the wrong person and it can indicate exactly how ‘out of touch’ you are. To be accurate and fair is how all givers of praise should be.

Praise demonstrates you notice: it shows that you care and that you are interested. If you are an observant, empathetic leader you will know the value of praise and encouragement, and use it wisely.

There should be no set ways of giving praise, or set times when it should be given, but here are a few basic rules to remember:
* If it is expected it will have no value.
* If it is given frequently it will be meaningless.
* If it is given to the wrong person it will cause resentment.
* If it is given grudgingly it will be ignored.
* If it is buried in qualifying detail it will have little effect.
* If it is given front of others it may be unwelcome.
* It is always wise to praise in private.

Be even-handed. Notice if individuals go out of their way to look for praise. Notice those that steal praise from others.

Use praise to encourage. Don’t be predictable. Unexpected praise has a double value for the recipient.

Lastly, don’t forget to say ‘thank you’. These two words are so often forgotten and they are very, very important. Be careless, forget this common courtesy and you may loose respect.

We need to reconnect with the art of giving praise. It takes time, thought and effort, but the motivational effect can be amazing.


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