Work that exceeds expectations will cause servant leaders to praise those who brought about amazing results. Careful observation is important when we want to offer valuable insight that will inspire our teams to do even more on upcoming projects. Without details, most praise statements will sound weak and generic. Words that we select to impart praise can last longer than we anticipate. The team will always remember the leader who takes them to new heights with well-timed praise.
“Stay focused on your mission,
remain steadfast in your pursuit of excellence,
and always do the right thing.”
~ Mark Esper
EXAMPLES OF INSPIRING PRAISE!
Most people gain inspiration and motivation from the leader who notices genuine efforts at work. Whenever more details are needed, the leader will ask others for supporting information before praising individuals in a group setting. Accuracy is very important to ensure that those who contributed are included and credit is given.
Include the individual’s name in the praise statements that might resemble the following:
🎉 ‘Your contributions on this project have shortened the completion time and helped the entire team to expand our skills and abilities!’
🎉 ‘The problems you solved today will allow the customer to receive everything we had promised without delay!’
🎉 ‘Teamwork is one of our values, and your willingness to help anyone and everyone exemplifies this value every day!’
🎉 ‘In my absence, your attention to the daily routine kept the team on track and the customers happy!’
“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
~ John W. Gardner
EMPTY PRAISE IS DEMEANING
Meaningless statements are usually simplistic and lack any weight for the recipient. Praise is supposed to be somewhat surprising and let individuals know that leaders are aware of the outcomes. Obvious statements will be brushed off as ‘lip service’ to the person who has skipped family outings and children’s programs to invest time and effort for the project.
How could praise every be ’empty’? With a couple of examples, your own memories might bring back old feelings.
🎉 ‘You are the only person who could do this!’ 🎉
Really? — The individual and the team know that this is not exactly true. At the last minute, this is something that we can say without much thought. An experienced person will be surprised, but not motivated.
🎉 ‘You are the smartest person in the world!’ 🎉
Again – really? — Being smart is pretty common, especially in business. Even the geniuses in business know that other people know more and can contribute more than they can. Praise is powerful when we craft our messages carefully for the individual and the situation.
🎉 Any statement that has become reflex and said daily. 🎉
Certain words become favorites and we don’t hear them leave our mouths. We can ask other people if we have any of those statements that have become a team joke. Insight about our pet phrases can elevate the praise we do offer and remove barriers between the leader and the team.
In school, this would be considered age-appropriate praise. At work, the praise offered should be appropriate for the position held. People who are new to the company and are learning will receive more frequent praise than those who are solving very difficult problems on large projects.
“We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
~ Will Durant
PREPARATION IMPROVES OUTCOMES
As a project comes to a close, the leaders should be gathering helpful information about the members. If the project was long, the effort to keep good records along the way will prove to be invaluable. Specific statements about individual contributions will be very meaningful even to those who left the project before the end to work on something else.
🎉 Expectations — After important accomplishments, the team will be expecting the leader to praise the team. Open conversations offer insight for the leader to respond appropriately. Without input from others, the leader is left to guess at the most effective method.
🎉 Specifics — Every person contributes to the workplace, so the leader will want to have examples of the players and outcomes. The information must be accurate to avoid distractions. In some cases, the best way to track the contributions is to require weekly written status reports that will keep track.
🎉 Consistency — Praise that is offered in response to excellent performance will become expected. Regular intervals are not the preferred basis since people become creatures of habit and ignore praise in these instances. When events occur, the leader will offer appropriate praise to the right people at the right time.
Open conversations are the best source for spreading praise across the entire group. Other people should feel free to offer praise when someone, including a leader, makes a difference in the workplace.
Positive examples of praise will focus on the outcomes achieved by individuals and groups.
“Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.”
~ Ralph Marston
Servant Leaders Offer Valuable Praise
Great results come from people who strive to do the best they can in all situations. Servant Leaders notice more than most people realize because the team’s contributions make all the difference in the life of any business. Without excellence, the business has no chance of competing in the marketplace. Those who consistently achieve more than anyone expects are inspired to do even more when praise is given in the right amount in a timely manner.
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence I can reach for;
perfection is God’s business.”
~ Michael J. Fox