In my mind, Praise is to the soul, what a nutritious meal is to the body. A simple expression of approval can go a long way, and it doesn't matter if a human being is 1 or 101 years old. Of course, it has to be sincere and well deserved, or it will not be credible. I can testify to the power of praise in my personal and professional life, as I've praised others, as well as when I've been praised. I found an article by Victor Lipman at Psychology Today, where he provides four reasons why praise is necessary at the workplace. However, I feel that they apply to any situation. Here the are:
Number 1, praising is cost effective. Although bonuses are excellent motivators, they're not always plausible. For example, as an educator, I know I won't get raises for my work, but it is very encouraging when students, parents, peers, and administrators praise my work with the students.
Number 2, praising doesn't require much time or effort. Telling someone, "great job" or "thank you," only takes a few seconds or a few minutes, if you elaborate. For example, I may praise a student about a paper he/she wrote by saying, "I like the way you drew an image in my mind through your choice of words."
Number 3, praising is a great way to improve a person's self-esteem. People are much more productive when they feel good about themselves, than when feeling unappreciated. For example, as a parent, I always make it a point to praise my daughters when I know they've worked hard to accomplish one of their goals.
Finally, "when employees feel good, they work harder." Positive morale raises the level of energy in people, and this can be attained by feeling valued. For example, as a husband, I make it a point to complement my wife for everything she does for the benefit of our relationship… which is a lot!
As you can see, Lipman's reasoning on the importance of praise in the workplace applies to every aspect of our lives, as I pointed out through my examples. Most importantly, let us not forget the words found in Psalm 148, "…praise the Name of the Lord, for his Name only is exalted, his splendor is over earth and heaven." Blessings!
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