Most of us love praise — getting that gold star on the top of our homework. It takes skill to give someone praise in a meaningful way.
- Be specific. “Great job” is less satisfying than an enumeration of what, exactly, was done well.
- Remember the negativity bias. The “negativity bias” is a well-recognized psychological phenomenon: people react to the bad more strongly than to the comparable good. So if you want to praise someone, remember that one critical comment will wipe out several positive comments, and will be far more memorable.
- Praise the everyday. When people do something unusual, it’s easy to remember to give praise. But what about the things they do well every day? It never hurts to point out how much you appreciate the small tasks that someone unfailingly performs.