Praising is an art. Successful people are all great at praising others as they know that we become better by helping others to be better. To get the maximum effect on others you need to do the following:
1. Praise immediately
If you praise a person straight after they have done something right it will have the best effect. If you give praise long after the ‘good behavior’ passed it will have very little effect on their feelings about themselves or their future actions.
2. Praise specifically
When you praise a specific action, you enforce for that action to be repeated. If you give a general praise it will have very little effect.
3. Praise in public
If you must correct a person, correct them in private. If you praise a person, make sure you praise them in front of others, the more people hear the praise, the bigger the persons self esteem will get. Awards given in front of large audiences of coworkers have the greatest impact on self esteem and future action.
People may work harder for money, but they put in the extra mile for praise and recognition, just remember Napoleon’s famous quote ‘I discovered a remarkable thing; men will die for ribbons’. Praise is a powerful motivator, give it generously!
You can also use praise as a ‘training tool’ to get a person to develop a habit. To do this you should give them praise every time he/she does what you want them to do. Give continuous positive reinforcement until they form the habit; however remember that once they form the habit it can be demoralizing to get praise every single time. So at that stage move to intermittent reinforcement and only praise them every third or fourth time they have acted or did what you wanted them to. This will keep them going and keep them motivated.
Another behavior you can practice to raise self esteem in others is admiration. You can admire another person for their accomplishment, their possessions, or a personality trait. Admiration is a very powerful tool; it is guaranteed that the person you are giving admiration to will feel more important as a result.
If you sincerely want to admire someone you will find endless opportunities to do so. Everyone as accomplished something, your job is to find it and compliment. One very important thing to remember is that you have to give any sort of praise genuinely never be insincere as it can be felt. One exception is that an insincere smile is better than a sincere frown, any day.
If your admiration is not genuine, people will feel that you are trying to manipulate them; in such case your praise will have the opposite response.
Remember the five A’s when it comes to making people feel important:
• Be Agreeable
• Express Acceptance
• Express Appreciation
• Express Approval
• Express Admiration
The last piece in the foundation to good relationships is providing attention. Give your attention to those you most appreciate and most important to you, and things that most interest you.
The amount of attention you give to things is the main indicator of how important they are to you. If you ignore people, they will feel devalued and diminished.
Listening is the true measure of attention in human relations. The best leaders are great listeners. Listening builds trust and builds self esteem in the person you are listening to and builds self discipline in you. To make sure you are actively listening, stay focused.
Remember, praise is like a boomerang! Whatever you express toward the other person it will sooner or later come back to you! Make sure that you only say to others what you want to get back. Resist temptation to criticize, condemn or complain. Practice the six A’s, remember Praising is an art!