Are You Afraid to Praise?

Everyone needs praise and encouragement, some more than others. Yet, occasionally leaders withhold praise from their team members because they’re afraid of the impact their encouraging words will have!

What if they’ll want a raise? What if they ask for a promotion? What if they brag to their colleagues? What if they take their talents elsewhere? What if they become too big for their britches and stop striving to be better?

If our teammates are performing well, they deserve to hear about it, and they deserve to hear about it from us! If we aren’t encouraging when our team members perform, we are discouraging because we are only talking about their performance when they fall short. A critical leader must balance their critiques by handing out praise. Praise is a better motivator than critical feedback.

Instead of focusing on what “may” happen if a teammate is confident in their abilities and their work, think about what is likely to happen if they constantly operate with doubt and discouragement hanging overhead: They won’t grow to the next level if they don’t feel they’ve achieved success at the current level. They won’t make decisions with confidence. They won’t experience true job satisfaction.

Praising team achievements and individual successes is our responsibility. Our teammates’ achievements, growth, promotions, and increased responsibilities are not a threat to our own success as their leader; contrary, they validate that we are leading others well.

What are you doing to lift up the people on your team?

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  • Annie says:

    As someone who doesn’t need a lot of encouragement, this is a great reminder to me that others do. And, although it’s great to get encouragement from our leader, we should also make an effort to encourage our teammates.

    • Linda Sasser says:

      Annie, I like your comment about making an effort to encourage teammates. One of the reasons peer accountability is so difficult is because we miss opportunities to lift up or encourage a peer.

      Thanks for your comment!!!