6 Ways to Increase the Power of Your Praise

We look at how praise others Genuinely and Often

Ryan Latham

August 10, 2020

Each time you give praise, you uplift another person and encourage yourself to adopt a more positive outlook on life. These are some tips for giving praise generously and enjoying the impact it has on you and the people around you.

Praising Others Improves Your Life

1. Accentuate the positive. Paying attention to the good qualities and accomplishments of the people around you gives you more opportunities to give praise. Be genuine as you praise others on their accomplishments. Enjoy feeling uplifted more often.

2. Liberate yourself from defensive conduct. Being critical of others can sometimes feel like a way to protect yourself, but it's actually counter-productive. Practicing patience and kindness helps you feel relaxed and happy. When you're happy, it's easy to give praise to others.

3. Strengthen your relationships. You'll feel closer to people as you cultivate more appreciation and affection for them. Your praise will mean a lot to those closest to you, including your children. As you get more skilled at praising the people you know best, you'll have more confidence in extending yourself more broadly.

How Praising Others Improves Their Lives

1. Help others to achieve more. Praise works best when it facilitates achievement. Help others develop their own confidence and competence.

- Present your children with a challenge, like learning to ride a bike, and celebrate their success.

- Ask a student to prepare the offering message, give the announcements, co-lead a small group, make a social media graphic.  

- You can reach out to anyone by recognizing their efforts to progress, whether they're trying to lose weight or learn a foreign language.

2. Spread the social benefits of praise. Nurturing positive emotions like admiration and gratitude makes us more open to each other. Your praise can inspire people to keep up their good deeds and motivate others to do the same.

3. Create a friendly environment. Commending others can help them relax and feel less anxious. It's easier for people to take risks and grow if they feel supported. All conflicts are easier to defuse if people have a genuine affection for each other.

Tips for Giving Praise Generously and Effectively

1. Look for good news. Focus on the qualities that make other people pleasant to be around and notice what they're doing well. It’s not hard to see what needs to be improved and corrected, it takes the skilled and intentional leader to specific praise.  

2. Focus on effort as well as ability. Some studies show that it's more effective to focus on effort than ability. By commending people for their perseverance and hard work, you can help them feel more comfortable taking on new challenges instead of limiting themselves to things they do well.

- We have all head the illustration but I think it’s worth brining up here. When a student is failing in a class and is encouraged to bring that grade up. You celebrate with them the effort it took to bring it up to a C. Reminding them that they are still not at the A will only shoot them down and demotivate them.

3. Be sincere. For praise to be meaningful, it has to be honest. Ensure you mean what you say. Not everyone has a great singing voice, but everyone does contribute in his or her own way. Keep looking until you find something credible to say. Use praise to express genuine approval rather than trying to change a person's conduct.

4. Be specific. Your words have the most impact when you're specific. Go beyond telling people that they did a good job. For example, let them know that you noticed that they made an extra effort to make visitors feel welcomed, or that they did a great job leading the transition between songs.

- “What gets reworded gets repeated.” Doing the hard work to reward small actions will lead to people taking more risk and increasing their commitment.

5. Let people know how they've helped you. The most memorable praise usually lets people know what a difference they've made in your life. For instance, if your son gives you a break by taking care of his younger sibling, tell him how much you enjoyed having some free time and how much you appreciate his thoughtfulness and maturity.

6. Choose the right time. To deepen your praise choosing where and when you give it is important. Should you give your raise publicly in-front of your whole team? Should you write a letter to them? Should you take them out to lunch and share your appreciation?

Giving praise away makes you the recipient of pleasant feelings and better relationships. Be generous with praise and encouragement to help everyone around you feel better and accomplish more.

Read next