When it comes to motivation one of the key tools is positive feedback. We all want to hear about how good a job we have done, how well we are doing and that we are adding value.
In fact according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, esteem is one of our basic needs and positive feedback helps to meet that need.
When it comes to providing feedback we need to make sure that we do it in the right way, because if we get it wrong, it can have the opposite effect to the one we are looking to achieve.
My preferred approach to giving feedback is to use the Praise Model.
We should also always follow the maxim criticise in private, praise in public. When we praise in public it not only shows the person being praised how much we appreciate them but it also shows others too, which is a great boost to an individuals esteem.
We need to clearly recognise the individuals, highlighting them and their contribution.
We need to be authentic when we give the praise, it needs to be said sincerely and it needs to be genuine in order for the person to really acknowledge it, accept it, and appreciate it. If we are perceived as inauthentic the outcome will be the opposite of what we are hoping for and could negatively impact motivation.
Our praise needs to be immediate, or as immediate as possible, as this will maximise the impact. We cannot wait until an annual performance review to give the positive feedback, or until a later date. Now we can repeat the praise again at a later date, but the first feedback needs to be timely, as close as possible to the event. If we delay the praise it can raise doubts as to whether the job performed was well done or not, and when we raise doubt it can impact future performance.
The feedback needs to be specific, we need to clarify what it is we are praising and what we liked about it. The more specific we can be, the more likely it is to be repeated.
Just as much as what we say, how we say it extremely important. We need to be specific about who and what we are praising, we need to be authentic and genuine, but we also need to be enthusiastic and encouraging. When we are enthusiastic in our praise is becomes contagious and not only does the person being praised look for more opportunities for praise, but so do those who experience the praise being given.
The more elements of the Praise Model we can get right the bigger the benefits we will achieve.
Praise is the fuel in the fire of continuous improvement, and it’s something we need to be giving often, but we need to be giving it in the right way.
Try the Praise Model today and see the impact it can have on both individual and team performance!