Leadership Training: The Power of Praise
WRITTEN July 13, 2017
Praise is an extremely powerful motivator.
When praised, people feel good about themselves. Subsequently, they perform better. Don’t underestimate the power of praise.
THINK ABOUT IT
- Why do we rarely praise others?
- What does criticizing another person do in the short-term? In the long-term?
- Does criticism motivate others?
- Tell about some of the keepsakes of success have you saved (trophies, certificates, letters, etc.).
FACTS ABOUT PRAISE
- People crave praise and recognition.
- People continue behaviors for which they receive positive reinforcement.
- Well-deserved praise motivates better employee performance.
- Praise creates a pleasant work environment, and encourages employees to stay with their current employer.
- Public recognition of accomplishments boosts the person’s self-esteem and allows others to appreciate the praiseworthy act as well.
FACTS ABOUT CRITICISM/LACK OF PRAISE
- It’s easy to dish out criticism.
- People find it difficult to give compliments, recognition, and praise.
- Criticizing others is counterproductive – it extinguishes the fire of ambition.
- A leader’s failure to praise causes staff to adopt a negative attitude. Then, employees do only enough to get by.
- When praise is given too frequently, and for inconsequential accomplishments, it becomes meaningless.
FORMULA FOR PRAISE
In order to harness the power of praise, comments must be:
- SINCERE (genuine, honest, truthful, earnest, straight, heartfelt, frank, open)
All praise should be genuine. Half-hearted or insincere praise can do more damage than none at all.
People spend their whole lives working toward achieving character traits. Praising them for these traits will validate their hard work.
|“You’re a good manager.” ||OR ||“You balanced all employees’ schedules so that all positions were covered. Your efficiency is admirable. |
|“You run a good meeting.” ||“You ran today’s meeting at a brisk pace and kept everyone’s interest.” |
- BASED ON EVIDENCE
Without evidence, praise is hollow. Saying to someone, “You’re a hard worker,” is kind and polite, but is weak when compared to telling that person HOW s/he is a hard worker. What does that person do that makes her/him a good friend?
Why praise? Leaders should always make the effort to strengthen the lines of communication with the people they lead. Avoid feedback that only points out where an employee stands, therefore just saying that they are doing a “good” or “bad” job. Take it further, turn it into something that makes them eager to do more for you.
The Power of Praise is not simply telling someone they did a good job but ultimately making it a reinforcement of their motivation to do even better
What The Experts Say About Praise
According to Karl S. Leonard of the Training Academy of Virginia’s Chesterfield County Police Department, we must “realize the power of praise. An employee’s job satisfaction is directly linked to individual recognition and positive reinforcement for work done well. Continued lack of recognition can have deteriorating effects on personnel and, in turn, on the department.”
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs includes a human need called the Ego/Status level. It shows that humans need to be recognized by others; that they have a need for achievement, self-esteem, self-confidence, respect, prestige, and status. All people need to be recognized and valued.
Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson (The One Minute Manager) recommend trying to catch people doing something right.
This information is from a customized training for a client, based in our Leadership & Management curriculum, and is related to material in our Power of Praise training session.
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In Praise of Praise – Forbes.com
How to Give Praise in the Workplace, According to an Austin CEO – BizJournals.com
Leadership Training Video – Performance Matters: Praise
The 9 Elements of Highly Effective Employee Praise