Daily Nugget of Gold 773
Praise Works Wonders
Have you ever wanted to get rid of the frustration induced by trying to get others to comply with your wishes and to make life easier and more worthwhile at the same time? An interest in the power of praise might be in order. We often don’t think of praising individuals or companies when they do something right, but aren’t we seemingly by nature quick to become the squeaky wheel when things go wrong?
Charles M. Schwab, who started as an engineer was promoted by Andrew Carnegie to run Carnegie Steel Company when Schwab was just 35 years old. Dale Carnegie (No relation to Andrew) pointed out in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People that at the time when the average wage was about $50 a week, Carnegie paid Schwab a million dollars a year. Did Schwab know more about steel than anyone else? Charles Schwab admitted he had several people on his staff who knew more about steel than he did. What made Schwab such a valuable person? His ability to effectively get the most out the people of his employ.
Mister Schwab said he never criticized people, but instead would look for anything praise-worthy and focused in on that and then was “ hearty in his approbation and lavish in his praise” whenever he did praise someone. He understood that criticism demoralizes people, but praise brings out the very best a person has to offer.
What worked so well with Mr. Schwab may work wonders for us as well, but in order to have it work effectively we will probably need a bit of patience as we implement it and some personal restraint in controlling ourselves in our reactions to things- and we would be the first to point out that for most people, both of those things aren’t easy to develop quickly. It probably makes sense for us to have patience with ourselves first and foremost!
The way to get better at praising the good in people and the good that they do is to do it every chance we get where there is something genuine to praise. Often that means really looking carefully to find something, but when you find some genuine thing about someone you can praise, be sure to do it. Counterfeit praise, also known as flattery, is of little use- and in fact, can completely undermine our mission. It seems it must be real and from the heart if we want real results.
Why not set a goal of praising 5 or 10 people a day as a start? Remember, this is sort of like building a muscle, start small and build from there, but begin now to do this. Make people feel good about themselves, find something worthy of praise and relate it and watch not only how your results begin to change, but your feeling about yourself will begin to change as well. That last part alone is worth it, don’t you think? You’ve made some incredible changes in your life up until now, prove to yourself you can do it again this time. Wouldn’t you feel better being an ambassador of good-will rather than a person people dislike being near?
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do today to help someone feel good about what they did right?”
Copyright 2012 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.