Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shower the People You Love (or at least like) With Praise

How many times have you worked yourself silly to give a great presentation, finish a project or go out of your way to help someone else out . . . only to wonder if anyone noticed? 

My guess is that it happens more often than you care to remember and it can leave you feeling less than satisfied, perhaps even incredibly frustrated. Yeah, me too.  

Here’s the thing, if it’s happening to you and me, it stands to reason that it’s also happening to those around you. Perhaps even to your own employees, friends, spouses, children . . .you get the picture.  Is it even possible that you or I might possibly be responsible for causing someone else to feel this way??  As much as I hate to admit it, I’m afraid so.  

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself inside a corporate office or University, working one to one with senior management or staff members . . . it doesn’t really matter what title . . .the conversation very often turns to the topic of personal and professional value. Time and again the core issue is that they are in some sort of conflict (internal or otherwise) because they feel like they are not being recognized for their skills, talent, efforts, time - you name it.  At times, the frustration has been so intense that the person is literally ready to either give up their career with the company or simply stop making an effort.  In reality, they really don’t want to choose either option.  Would you believe that when I ask the question “What is it that you need in order to resolve this situation?”  ninety percent of the time the answer is “I just want to be told that I did a good job”  or “To be told that I made a difference.” Along those same lines, research shows that the majority of all conflicts in marriage and friendship can be traced back to one or both parties feeling under appreciated or under valued. 

Hmm, do you see a pattern?  Yeah, me too.  Yet, as frustrating and painful as it can be to be the recipient of the situation . . .how often to you find yourself really validating the people in your life. . .honestly? 

Now, before you start feeling the need to defend yourself it’s important that you understand that it’s not your fault.  I’m fairly certain that neither you nor I would intentionally cause someone else to believe that they are insignificant.  Odds are, most of the time we’re more worried about what other people think about us.  

In fact, I’ve seen some people become so concerned with making sure that they are recognized for their efforts that they would NEVER call attention to someone else’s great work for fear of being upstaged (yes, I know you would never resort to this tactic). 

In the interest of successfully retaining your friendships, employees, and customers, as well as increasing employee productivity,  it’s time to end the cycle.  Yes, I’m suggesting that you go out of your way to acknowledge the little and not so little things that others do to make your life and your career a success. 

Now, when you start to do this several things will likely happen: 1. You’ll feel a little ridiculous because this might not come naturally.  Not to worry, the more you do it, the easier it is.  I promise. 2. You’ll have a hard time finding things to “appreciate.”  That’s OK, don’t work at it too hard.  Just notice those times when you’re thinking to yourself “Wow, they did a great job,” etc. and then make an effort to verbalize your genuine thanks. The key is to offer sincere validation.  Remember, it is likely what the other person is looking for. 3. You won’t see an immediate payoff.  Be patient because eventually you’ll set a new tone in your environment and you’ll start seeing indicators that your efforts are being recognized.  Employees will become increasingly satisfied, friends may offer their help a little more often, and people will likely appreciate you more.  Activate potential and you’ll realize results. Ultimately, isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

Copyright © 2009 InBliss Coaching and Consulting LLC  All Rights Reserved Internationally.   Permission to reprint with attribution.

Contact Lisa and discover how you can accomplish your personal and professional development goals.

Lisa Broesch, President, Actualize Consulting Group

Partner in Professional Development • Keynote Speaker • Employee Workshops

1033 Featherstone Circle, Orlando, Fl  34761

T: (407)595-6771 • F: (407)291-9078  • Web Address: http//

©2009 Actualize Consulting Group, All rights reserved. Permission granted to excerpt or reprint with attribution.

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