Are You Lavish With Praise?

When criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of attention.

Praise is probably one of the most fundamental of all human desires.  Whether we admit it or not, we all crave attention and praise in some form or another.  It might not mean that your name is put up in lights for everyone to see, it may be as simple as someone saying, “Hey you did a great job!”, and genuinely meaning it.

Think about how it feels when someone recognizes you for something and offers you genuine praise.  You feel pretty good, right?  And you crave that feeling again, don’t you?  So why don’t you do that in return to others?

We are all leaders.  We all have the ability to spur change to help others achieve success and to live happier, more fulfilled lives.  It’s really not that hard – as long as you take the right approaches.  Whether you’re trying to raise your kids to behave better or trying to help a friend change their negative way of thinking or trying to spark initiative in one of your employees, start by praising the things they do well.  And do it genuinely.  From your heart.  Not only will it make them feel good about themselves, it will make them want to do more of it.  And there is where the change happens.

Might sound a little hokey, but try it.  Start praising your friends, family, significant other and co-workers on things that they do well.  If you can honestly tell me their facial expressions don’t show that your praises made them feel good and their attitudes towards you don’t change and they don’t start exhibiting more of these behaviors in the future, then you can ignore everything I’ve ever said.

If we can inspire all the people we come in contact with to a realization of their capabilities then we can do more than change people.  We can transform them.  Remember, we are all leaders.  And great leaders enable the people around them to do great things.  Start enabling others by giving genuine praise.

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)

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