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Part 4: The Impact of Doing Positive Things

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Action

Taking the time to thank people authentically is incredibly powerful. It's about being specific and making you're your intention is well communicated. You are grateful for their contribution. You state what you are thankful for and its impact on you. Try to avoid the drive-by thank you in the hallway. It can leave someone wondering if you meant it or what they did to deserve the thank you. It devalues the effort you have made to thank someone. 

Practice with a friend or a trusted co-worker. Thank you authentically, and ask them how it felt to receive the thanks. 

 

Enjoy the practice.

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Practice Purposeful Praise

Benefits

  • Recharge relationships, foster mutual appreciation, and do things better together

  • Everyone enjoys praise. It can show respect, appreciation, or admiration

    • Important to note that this is not about feedback or criticism

  • Reduces burnout in self and others

If you have ever received praise that didn't feel good or didn't feel like praise at all, then you've probably experienced something called Conditional Praise. 

Here is an example of similar praise, but delivered in a good and bad, or conditional, way

  • Good Praise: You did this well. I appreciate that you enjoy learning new skills. So, let's take the next step and add this part to your routine. 

  • Bad Praise: You did a good job, but I would like to see you do it this way.

What happened here is that they left the recipient with the impression that they didn't do a good job. Notice how much power that word "but" had in the Bad Praise. In contrast, the wording in the Good Praise encouraged a person to keep learning. 

Now let's look at another example:

  • Good Praise: I am very impressed with your project work. I knew you could do it. 

  • Bad Praise: I am very impressed with your project work. You surprised me as I didn't think you could do it.

So, it's important to understand that some praise can have a negative impact when giving praise. The deliverer may not even realize that they have left a negative effect. Not only does this neutralize the initial praise, but it can also be detrimental to the recipient's long-term confidence. So, we must be mindful when delivering praise for people's efforts. 

Reflections

Reflect on the ways you have been given praise and times when you have given praise. Look for opportunities to modify your approach to shift from bad praise to good praise.

Action

As you become more confident in reframing praise start to practice this will colleagues, family, friends, and youth and see how people react. You may see more motivation, confidence, and a generally positive attitude in approaching a new task or learning a new skill. 

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