How to Effectively Praise and Better Motivate Your Team

What’s better than praise for your hard work? Praise can turn a bad day around. It may remind you that although you are stressed and buried under a pile of work, you are doing your job well. This is why team members, regardless of their position, should praise each other without hesitation.

This post was originally published on the Sandglaz blog .

Praise and positive feedback go hand in hand. These are timely, specific comments about what the team member did well. Unlike feedback, praise doesn’t need to be constructive. It can simply be used as a motivation tool to improve performance . Praise is also based on personal judgment, while reviews should be based on facts and concerns.

These aspects of praise are well known. But here are some interesting tips on how to praise your teammates properly.

Praise teammates while they are working towards a goal, not after they have achieved it

Praising a team member for a job well done seems like an obvious motivational tactic . At the end of the day, you have to acknowledge someone’s success. But don’t do this after he has achieved his goal. According to research by Fischbach and her colleagues , it’s best to give credit to his hard work while he’s still haunted.

This is true for two reasons. First, praise boosts the confidence level of your team members. A high degree of confidence helps them to achieve their goals with enthusiasm and, in turn, successfully achieve them. Second, the team member will be receptive to suggestions after you’ve fueled her resolve with praise. This allows you to suggest new challenges that can improve her final product.

However, there is a secret in how to build resolve with praise. In short, you cannot signal that the person you are praising has already made enough progress. This encourages your teammate to relax their efforts. You must emphasize that although he succeeded, he still has not achieved his goal.

Take the example of two students who pass a test 100%. The first student believes that she has advanced enough and she no longer needs to study. She finishes the lesson in B. A second student learns that she enjoys learning because it brings positive results. She graduates with an A. Be sure to emphasize that your teammate must continue with the hard work that you always learn in order to successfully achieve your goal.

Early praise is similar to the 30% feedback rule . Praising someone before they finish a project shows that she’s heading in the right direction. She will no longer doubt the quality of her work. It also shows your leadership style. You lead team members, encourage them to prove themselves. You are not the type to take the time to check on your teammates.

Don’t use praise to soften criticism

Too often, team members have to give each other negative feedback. Easier said than done. What if you hurt someone’s confidence and they don’t dare to work with you? Meet the sandwich approach. People put criticism between the two parts of praise . They do this to avoid the potential consequences of criticism.

At first, it may seem logical that the combination of praise and criticism reduces your discomfort and your teammate’s anxiety. After all, if you start on a positive note, both of you should be happy. Unfortunately, this opinion is wrong. Your discomfort will only grow if you give up the bad news. This is partly because praise and criticism are best delivered as soon as possible. In other words, don’t wait to tell your teammate that she’s doing a good job or a bad job. Research from the American Psychological Association shows that people are effective at accepting and responding to criticism when they receive it in a timely manner.

Plus, mixing praise and criticism prevents your teammate from getting better. This is because he will only focus on praise. To demonstrate this, behavioral science professor Ayelet Fischbach conducts an exercise in a class at the University of Chicago. She tells half of her students to give individual feedback to the other half using the sandwich method. Despite the fact that she was praised and criticized, the other half remember only positive comments. Avoid the sandwich approach – share praise and criticism so teammates remember what you say to them .

Tailor praise to the personality and level of experience of a teammate

Let’s say you’ve just finished looking for a new team member. She speaks openly and confidently in interviews, but when she starts work, she seems shy and quiet. Extroverts can appear to be introverts when they first adapt to a new work environment. Of course, high performing teams have different personality types. But it’s important to compliment new teammates who seem introverted at first – and introverted themselves – differently than extroverted team members who’ve been with you for a while.

According to a 2012 Journal of Consumer Research study , it is far more important to regularly praise new team members than experienced ones. The researchers base this finding on their research on the French language. The results suggest that people who start learning a language need to be praised for their efforts. This is because people are usually not very confident when starting something new. They need support. While it’s still good to praise experienced team members, they don’t need that kind of motivation.

Everyone knows that praise is essential to keeping your team happy. But praising team members properly goes beyond the usual advice you hear, such as timely and specific comments. Keep these important tips in mind the next time you compliment your teammate.

How to Praise Team Members Properly | Sandglaz


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