Leadership & Training

JS Tip 16: From the Leadership Workshops: Using Praise

Classic counsel: “Praise in public. Rebuke in private.”

Because we like being liked, the acceptance, the regard, the respect of others is important to us. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “I could conquer the world if only I had enough ribbon.” He understood that by awarding his men, it would improve their morale enough to accomplish anything. Recognition is a great reward. Make it sincere and specific: “Amy did a great job last month with the Peterson proposal.”

Humiliation, rebuke, and disregard break the bonds of trust not only with the one humiliated but with the group. “Wow. If they’ll do that to Charlie, they’ll do that to me. Forget it. I’m not part of this.”

When you make corrections, pull the person aside, in private, identify the problem, offer help, and suggest ways to improve: “Steve, your being late is killing us. What can we do to help you get to work on time? Schedule a wake-up call?” Continued violations may require stronger counsel, but you start here.