The Power of Praise

How did you feel the last time you achieved something tricky? What about the last time someone paid you a sincere compliment?

A recent study looked at the real weight a person’s self esteem had. We know from personal experience that feeling good about ourselves is important and as you reflect you’ll probably notice that you often perform better when you have a healthy level of self confidence in relation to something. But how important really is how we feel about ourselves? Imagine a day where you wake up and your first thoughts are about a mistake you made yesterday at work. Your boss was irritated because the mistake will cost everyone time. You felt embarrassed because it wasn’t a difficult assignment so you shouldn’t have really made the error. You start to look back over your short career there so far and replay all the other mistakes you’ve made.

Before you know it your mind has jumped back to school and you are thinking about that test that you didn’t do so well in. Your mind jumps again to a memory of an argument with a friend, you didn’t think you’d done anything wrong but the friendship never seemed the same after that. Your mind is so dynamic and flexible unless you take control of your thoughts before you know it you could have considered a range of things all of which have an effect on you. Coaching helps you gain control of these thoughts and by doing this you prevent all sorts of negative side effects, including eroding self-esteem.

Recent studies looked at college students and discovered that they valued boosts to their self-esteem more than they valued eating a favourite food or engaging in a favourite sexual activity or drinking alcohol, receiving a pay-check or seeing a best friend. The studies don’t tell us why the students are so in tune with the power of their self-esteem, but that is less important from a usability perspective.

These findings give us an opportunity to place increased value on our team’s self-esteem. If a person isn’t getting good results it could be something that needs addressing. Through a short program of Coaching people can very effectively reprogram themselves to start getting better results. The benefits of this are great for the individual but also from a productivity perspective for the company.

The other obvious application that arises from these studies is the opportunity to motivate people through means other than financial ones in a business capacity. The power of an anchored, well placed compliment sincerely praising a person can be worth thousands of pounds, both to the individual, and in resulting productivity for the company. For the benefits to be real though, the building of self-esteem needs to be real too. Good management training will help you develop a culture that does just this. Considered, long term investment in a team is likely to also build loyalty.

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