As the saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Nothing says I care like sincere praise and a pat on the back. As leaders, it is our duty to connect with our people in a manner that enhances our relationships and empowers them to reach their full potential.
Here are 6 key elements to remember when offering praise to your people.
1) Personal – Make sure that you make your praise personal to the one receiving it. Tony Robbins talks about the 6 basic human needs, and one of them is significance. When you go out of your way to praise an individual on your team for something they did that was positive, you create a feeling of significance for that individual. Make it personal and it will have the impact you desire.
2) Relevant – When offering a word of praise, make sure that you keep it relevant to the action that was demonstrated. By doing this you reinforce the action you desire within your team. When a team member goes out of their way to serve your customer, make sure you praise the specific action that was taken and you will demonstrate to your entire team that serving your customer is priority #1 in your organization.
3) Affirming – When kind words are spoken to someone, it affirms their value to the team. When team members feel they are valued they will go above and beyond to maintain that sense of value. This sense of belonging is like an addiction, once you have experienced it…you want more!
4) Inspiring – To inspire is to increase the “spirit”. When you praise someone, you lift their spirits. Think about the last time someone offered you a word of praise, how did it make you feel? Were your spirits lifted?
5) Sincere – For your praise to have a positive impact, make sure that it is sincere. If it is not, your efforts will have the opposite effect and you will damage your relationship with the person you praise. Without sincerity, it is just sarcastic!
6) Equal – What I mean by this is, make sure you are looking for opportunities to praise everyone on your team. If you are only praising a few of the team members, it will look as if you are showing favorites. Sometimes we have to deliberately look for opportunities to praise our people. Make sure no one feels left out!
There you have it! And yes, it is an acronym for the word PRAISE. Hopefully this serves as a reminder that to be an effective leader and have influence with your people, a little praise will go a long way.
What are your thoughts? Do you exemplify praise in your leadership style?