10 Tips for motivational management – Use the power of praise

Richard Denny Your Success Coach

Every recruitment agency in the land will agree that by far the major reason for people leaving an employer is due to not feeling appreciated or valued.  Let me remind you of that powerful phrase, “people don’t leave companies, they leave people.”  I equally believe, and my experience has shown, that this lack of appreciation is one of the major causes of high absenteeism that some in the private sector, but many more in the public sector, do suffer from.

Why are so many managers unable, unwilling or simply forget to say a thank you and show appreciation to their staff?  It’s just not good enough to have the pathetic mind set of believing “that is what they are paid to do.”  This lack of appreciation is very rarely uncovered or disclosed at the exit interview.  Apparently the British psyche does not handle praise well.  But praise and recognition are fundamental and vital leadership skills and qualities.

So if you want to keep your people, staff and colleagues; help them to be more competent; increase productivity and create a happier working environment; positive constructive input and loyalty; praise and care for your staff.  After all, they are your customers, so follow these tips:

  1. Praise in public, criticise in private. Let other people hear you giving praise.  You will get more of whatever you recognise, reward or praise.
  2. Understand the individual. Some people need more praise than others.  Some people have great difficulty in receiving praise.
  3. Be authentic. The praise must be yours even though it may have been told to you by someone else.  It must be owned by you and believed by you.  If the praise worthy event is related to you from another source get your facts right, but again take ownership of the praise, while giving recognition to others.
  4. Deliver praise with sincerity, with eye contact, with pleasure and with happiness. You know body language communicates more powerfully than the spoken word.
  5. Be timely. Yes, of course some praise is better late than never but really make the effort to give it as near to the event as is humanly possible.  This just depends where praise lies in your priority of life.
  6. The recipient really must deserve the praise and the event must also be praise worthy.
  7. Praise should also be geared to the impact of the actions that were deserved. In other words, you are sharing the ramifications of the success that is forthcoming from the praise worthy activity.
  8. Praise will change behaviour so you will get more of whatever you are praising and recognising. So be careful.  If you praise people for working long hours you will get more people working long hours, but this may not be productive and is generally unproductive.
  9. Get the balance right. Too much praise is completely ineffective.  Can you recall old Mr Grace from the TV programme Are You Being Served saying “you are all doing very well”, every time he met his staff.
  10. Be brave. Step outside your comfort zone.  Give a little praise and enjoy.




10 Tips for written communication–Misery or Joy?

Richard Denny Your Success Coach

Written communication has a long lasting effect because it can be read over and over again. It can reignite joy and bitterness. In my years of consultancy work, I have seen the written word cause more aggression, drama and strikes than any other means of communication. The written word, if there is any ambiguity, will always be read negatively.

You must write, not so you are understood, but so you cannot be misunderstood.

Although communicating by letter has decreased considerably in recent years, using email which of course also requires people to spell and use grammar correctly, has increased.

If you want to have real impact and show that you care, a letter or card can be the most powerful way of winning friends and influencing people. In the business world those who want an appointment with a decision maker should write a letter first and then follow up with a phone call.

So here are a few tips to help make your written word more effective:

  1. Firstly, attract attention with an attention getting word, phrase or line, for example ‘Here is some good news’. Always try to get something positive either on your subject matter or your first words that will illicit the response ‘I want to hear what you have to say’.
  2. Keep it short. More and more people are getting emails on their mobiles so long emails can be hard to read, try and stick to 2 or 3 paras and 2 to 3 sentences per para. This also applies to letters; short letters get read.
  3. Don’t criticise or be negative. This is the biggest cause of communication breakdown, aggression and stress. If this is necessary, speak don’t write.
  4. Read before sending. Never send an email or a letter without reading it all through before sending and ask yourself, if you got this how would you feel?
  5. Choose the right time. Never send an email or letter in response to anger or frustration caused by one you may have received without first giving yourself time. A great tip, don’t send an email overnight, draft it reread it and then send it the next day.
  6. Check spelling and grammar. This is so easy with spellcheck, as otherwise you will lose respect and trust.
  7. Use key words. There are certain key words that have great power when we read them, they will also generate pleasure in the reader. “you” “your” and “mine” the reader reads them as “I”, “me” and “my”.
  8. Look for the opportunity to send nice messages with positive content, something that shows you care. It’s interesting how Twitter is declining because it’s all about ME!
  9. Be careful with attachments. Again so much of our communication is on the mobile and it is more difficult to read attachments this way.
  10. Don’t ‘cc’. If there is not an essential need to know, don’t waste other people’s time by copying them.