I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about “effective habits” or other sort of self-help blather. But I was recently tipped to Bob Lewis’ advice column on InfoWorld. He writes about topics that normally turn me off in a way that is provocative and engaging.

I was adding his feed to Thunderbird today, and I ran across an old item on leadership and praise. Good leaders know how to deliver effective praise. Above all, it is specific and timely. It is easy to give. There’s no cost. It doesn’t require bureaucratic approval or signatures. However, praise is often done wrong or so lamely that it becomes demotivating. That’s a great point. There’s nothing less gratifying than the gratuitous thank you. And sometimes it’s more motivating to hear nothing at all.

The best coaches/supervisors I can remember had a knack for delivering effective praise. For those without the gift, it’s a good thing to practice. You’re always willing to do better work when it’s recognized by good people.

[UPDATE] Reading along further, I found out that Bob Lewis is a fellow Minnesotan! Nothing better to do on a snowy week like this than write in our blogs!


One Response to “Leadership and Praise”

  1. Shane says:

    The dictionary.com word of the day today is “fulsome” which means “insincere excessive praise.” While your praise may not be intended to be excessive or sarcastic, it can be interpreted that way.

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