Monday, 16 December 2013

I don't like your platitude!

There is a lot to be said for encouraging people; telling them how well they have done and sending them on their way with all having a warm fuzzy feeling inside, believing that was a job well done - however was that praise really appropriate? Now I am not in the slightest bit a negative person, I can usually find the upside in any situation, the opportunity in any collaboration, and spotting the 'learn' is a certainty, and therein lies the rub for this Blog.

I am drawing here on my business experience and also my  ten years in Toastmasters International, giving and receiving feedback by way of speech evaluations. I recognised early on that not making a recommendation was actually not helping the person I was giving feedback to, while not getting any recommendations really did not help me grow - the commendations were nice and welcome, however I was looking, and longing, for the recommendations. In short I realised that platitudes, no matter how ell meaning, were basically of little or no value, either if received or given.

There is always a learn, something could always have been done differently, producing different results and/or reaching a larger/different audience on the way as a result.  It is these learns that should I believe form part of the praise and the feedback we give to colleagues, friends and family members.

Praising something is always a great thing to do, it helps them to take a pride in their role, whatever that is, to grow in confidence and in themselves, sprinkle it with from the heart recommendations delivered in an empathetic manner and it can do so much more.  We should never be 'critical' of, or 'criticise' others in a mean spirited or destructive manner, that is not being helpful, the reverse in fact.

So as we accelerate, head long, into the 'Season of Goodwill' remember to serve up a balanced portion of praise, constructive suggestions and thanks to your team, contacts and colleagues. In this way you can be surer to start 2014 in a positive manner and with all pulling in the same direction.

A slightly shorter Blog than some, however I hope it adds some value to you and please do leave a message or comment - I do read them all and respond when I can.