Give some positive feedback today

Here’s a guest blog post from my good friend, John Gloster-Smith, on the topic of giving positive feedback:

What does it take to praise or appreciate people? Sometimes quite a lot, it seems. Apparently 7 out of 10 UK workers feel that their employers take their efforts for granted, or at least expect them to be grateful for a job. This is in the light of pay freezes, longer hours or increased responsibility within the same role.

According to this survey, it would pay employers to spend more time talking with staff about their development. According to research evidence, a high performing behaviour for managers is developing people. It should also of course be one for individuals, a willingness to invest in yourself and your own development. Unfortunately many don’t see it like that. However, to get the best out of people, it pays to attend to their development – and also to bolster confidence. So, encourage and motivate.

But what about praise?

Simply acknowledging someone for what they’ve done is immensely powerful. Giving positive feedback, underlining what worked, why it worked and what you particularly admired. Do it authentically, genuinely, like you mean it, like you care. When people get that you care and when they feel praised (and note “feel” it), they light up. It touches the part of them that likes and wants to be loved and appreciated, the inner child of course. Like the rest of us!

But people find this so hard to do. Often the manager has his mind on other things; but he or she might simply be weak on their people leadership skills. Then there’s the view that they should just do it anyway, as it’s part of the job.

Praise involves generosity, a spontaneous giving, from the heart. How many of us are generous? People can be reluctant to give, being either more orientated to wanting things from others or they might simply be closed down, closed off, perhaps to protect some hurt. They might actually simply be mean, they might tend to hold back, feeling unable to give, or they might be grudging in what they give to others.

So, today, try praising people whenever and wherever possible, appreciating people, and giving thanks. Notice how it feels in your heart. Do it unconditionally, without expectation of anything in return.