“The deepest human need is the need to be appreciated.”
* William James
All of us have an innate desire to be appreciated and valued for our contributions at work, home and elsewhere. However, we often fail to recognize the positive contributions of people around us. We neglect opportunities to talk about them in positive regard, appreciate their work and encourage them.
Why we don’t praise
Here are the typical excuses we offer for not praising people around us.
- “They don’t need to be praised for just doing their jobs.”
- “I have too much to do. I just don’t have time.”
- “I don’t think people care about being praised that much.”
- “I just don’t think about it.”
- “I have high expectations and expect a lot from others.”
- “Hey, it’s not my job.”
- “My boss doesn’t praise me. Why should I praise others?”
- “My (company or national) culture encourages modesty; so, people around me don’t expect praise.”
- “Negative reinforcement is important. Only when my employees are criticized, will they improve.”
- “If I praise people, they think they have made it. They will stop improving.”
- “I find it difficult to express my feelings.” “I don’t like to praise”
None of the above is a valid reason. Offering praise and recognizing people amounts to acknowledging and favorably noticing their efforts. Our recognition serves as a powerful positive motivator because it nourishes their self-esteem and makes them feel confident of their abilities. This increases the likelihood that they will continue to grow and will keep improving in their roles.
Praising and recognizing people around us are an essential skill that we need to develop to be effective around people. Look for opportunities to recognize your peers, team members, friends, family members, bosses and other people you interact with everyday. Offer sincere appreciation and make them feel valued. At the minimum, just smile and say “Thank you” more often.
- Happy Thanksgiving to our readers in the United States. Make sure you offer praise to your hosts and / or the people who prepared for the festivities. Do not eat too much.
- Readers not familiar with Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States can find more information here and here.
- Thank you all for reading my thoughts on this blog; I appreciate your support.