Sincere praise is a powerful (but often overlooked) coaching and leadership tool. It’s powerful because it is not only needed but also appreciated by every person at every level throughout the entire organization. Simply put, everyone appreciates being appreciated. Here are a few insights about praise and recognition that are sometimes overlooked:
1. When performance is praised, it accelerates.
Studies show that when performance is measured, performance improves. But when performance is both measured and celebrated, the rate of improvement accelerates
2. Praise closer and closer approximations of the desired end result.
Don’t just cheer for the marathon runner when he/she crosses the finish line; encourage and celebrate his/her progress all along the way as well.
3. Praise the attempt, even when it fails.
No one needs your praise and recognition more than the person who stumbled and fell on the way to achieving a big goal. Your sincere praise can keep that person on his/her feet.
4. Recognize the individual, but emphasize the team.
Praise the individual’s accomplishment so that it is perceived as contributing to everyone’s success. It will have more meaning for everyone.
Finally, it’s not how much you appreciate your people that really counts—it’s how much they know it. Even if your team members already realize you appreciate their efforts, say it! They really do need to hear it from you.