The importance of praise

Boy...I don't blog much...I think I am developing a pattern though. I blog when I have something to clarify in my own mind...
What has been on my mind lately is this concept of leadership. 
Since becoming a manager I have gone through distinct stages...and as I evolve in my job, I have come to understand the meaning of the phrase "it's lonely at the top. "

Now understand, I am hardly holding a prestigious position. 
I am a full time assistant manager at a dollar store. 
That being said...some things are an across the board proposition.  
Once you are seen to be in a position of responsibility...certain things are no longer allowed...you can't skip facing a problem..in fact, you are called on to solve other people's problems...
And you can have a bad day...you just can't allow it to show...and if you don't really know the exact way to proceed, you'd better work at it till you figure it out. Quitting is not an option...
And finally..and most importantly...when you lead, it's important to not only spot the problem...but to commend the effort. 

I have boss who is excellent at spotting the issues...bad at praising good effort. She is a hard worker..she is fair..but much like me, came up rough. We were both more likely to get a swift boot in the ass than a thank you, or a good job.  
But after going through the last few years...and all that entailed...and coming to realise, through blogging and mental reprogramming, the power of words...the words "great job" or "thank you" can be as motivating as a pay raise...and picking out the one thing NOT done in amongst the plentitude of hard work given by a well intentioned employee will kill any initiative and drive that had previously resided in their soul.  
In short...sometimes it's better to ignore the minor fault and praise the major effort.
This goes for you...your kids..employees..spouses.  
Will nitpicking the small fault Instill a sense of motivation?  
Maybe, in a small minority.
In, I would say, 80 percent of people...it brings forth resentment and apathy...
As dale Carnegie said in his book winning friends etc. if you are going to criticize, begin with honest praise...and end with constructive criticism.  
You'll get more out of yourself and others if people know that their efforts are seen, felt and appreciated.

Chris out.


Richard said...

Hi Christine,

I saw a comment you left on Sean's Blog and came over to see who you are...

Wow you are amazing! I added you to my blog list, it is so inspiring to follow a success story like yours.

I'm reading your blog from when you took the path to get in better shape and I'm hook on your wits. honest and humour.

Managers should also get praises when praises are due!

FredT said...

Keep it all up. It is worth all the effort. There is a lot to be said about positive psychology.

Robin said...

At my very first job (a long time ago), I had a boss who was really excellent with this sort of balance. She praised and offered constructive criticism. I learned a lot from watching her.

I can't say that I've had another boss who did it as well as she did since then. Some have been better than others. Most tend to not say anything unless it's a complaint. And, you're, right it drains and saps the motivation of every employee. Whenever, there's a high "turnover rate" somewhere, it can almost always be traced directly back to management. When there's a low turnover rate, it can almost always be traced directly back to management.

I think that is part of the reason I liked commission sales so much. There were managers, but they were not right on top of you. Mostly it was you and the customer. And the verdict for how well you did your job was in your paycheck.

However, this is excellent to remember in dealing with family and even close friends. Do we want to be that person who only focuses on the mistakes????

Lowcarb team member said...

" You'll get more out of yourself and others if people know that their efforts are seen, felt and appreciated."

Couldn't agree more .......

All the best Jan

anastasia said...

I totally agree! Years ago, I heard some great management advice: "Praise publicly and criticize privately". I try to always stick to that maxim with the staff that I manage. You can see people swell with pride when you point out what they did well and they try even harder to please. Great blog!

Unknown said...

I have had so many managers in my adult life that can not praise a job well done at all. It is frustrating. Our current store manager just left to a bigger store as their manager... but one thing I really disliked. I hit my 10 year mark with the company last fall. This is my THIRD store for the company, I have been in several management (Lead) positions too. Literally 5 minutes after our morning meeting, she stops me in the stock room and hands me a card and pin. Thanks me for my 10 years of service...and nothing else. Really? 10 years of dedication to the company and she couldn't even recognize it in front of my coworkers?

Me on the other hand, I prefer to thank my coworkers for their help...When I was lead, every single month I had an employee I was directly in charge of who had a birthday that month, I bought cake and icecream for our team. It was much appreciated because I was showing my appreciation to them. That's the way it should be. Your employees are more willing to work, if they feel appreciated.

NewMe said...

Hi Chris,

Great post! You are bang on the money. Thank you!!

I was luckier than many: I didn't "grow up rough," as you said. I got tons of love and praise from my mother. She was fabulous.

My father, on the other hand, had the good sense to leave when I was quite young. However, he used to waltz into town every few years or so and come over for a coffee and (I suppose) to see his only child.

And what did he do every single time he came over? Insult me. Too fat, didn't understand directions (yes, I still remember him trying to explain north-south-east-west to me as a child), etc. etc. I can count the number of times in my life when he said something vaguely nice to me on the fingers of one hand--and I have a few fingers left over.

His insults are with me still. Needless to say, I'm in therapy now.

Unknown said...

yes yes yes YES YES YES
I see this with both peers and the child.

genius786 said...
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Natalie said...

One of my most memorable moments was when I had been going to the gym for a little while and the instructor for the class was going around checking form and she praised mine. I honestly felt so happy and proud I nearly cried. I don't remember which class it was or her exact words (though it is recorded in my blog somewhere) but I do remember exactly how I felt. King of the world!

Karla said...

love your posts. I am a Store Manager at a grocery store and can SOOOOOOO relate to your posting