Thumbs up!

I am a firm believer of praising team members publicly when they do the right things. I know this is not common practice because it may lead to people feeling more important than they should or may lead to unnecessary strife in the workplace but I beg to differ.

A great percentage of adults go for weeks without a word of encouragement talk less of accolades. We are called to task when we do something wrong and not a word of admiration when we are right. No one ever says anything about your report until one day, you inadvertently get a formula wrong and it skews information on the spreadsheet. The next thing you know, your inbox is full of emails from colleagues pointing out the error.

Even as a writer (and I should know better), I can’t tell you how many times I have read blogs or books without telling the author what a fine job they have done but once I see a grammatical or spelling error, I quickly point them out as if that’s all I was looking for.

There needs to be a balance between rushing to point out errors and giving praise when a person does the right thing. Think of a child learning to walk. No one ever yells to them that stumbling is an anathema and they should “just do it”. On the contrary, we encourage them when they repeatedly fall and make the same mistakes because we know that they would eventually learn to walk on their own. We cajole them, sing and dance to them until finally they can walk without aid. Some cultures even celebrate the fact that a child is finally able to walk on their own.

How much more with adults whose praise tanks are running on empty? You don’t have to be the boss in order to encourage and applaud people when they do the right things. Did you notice that a report came in time? Sing the person’s praise until they are so embarrassed that they avoid you. (Hint: It is improbable that people would avoid you because you sing their praises as people flock to you when they know all you do is show them off).

In other news, it is the UK elections and I am voting tonight. I still have no clue who I am voting and I think by some magic, I would decide before 9pm when I need to cast my vote. Sigh.

Have a lovely day people!

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