Like it or not, we live in a culture that trades on the quantity of busyness. Don’t believe me? Just ask someone how his or her day, week or month has been and there’s a very good chance you’ll hear the answer of busy. Unfortunately, there’s no quantifiable equivalent for busy, and is one person’s busy more valuable or worthwhile than someone else?
A Never-Ending Circle
The culture of busyness invades our work lives and often transfers over into our personal lives as well. The question is, why is the busy concept something we all buy into? There must be some reason why we continue to push ourselves each day, cramming more activities into a fixed number of hours. Could it be we are all looking for something few of us know how to define?
Combatting the Crisis
One hypothesis is in our efforts to do more and demonstrate these activities to others we’re looking to meet a human need for someone to recognize what we accomplish each day. Receiving recognition for the application of unique, personal talents is one of the best motivators for continued action in the workplace. Think about it, who wouldn’t want to do better and strive for more applications of said good when rewarded for the very action?
Is there a Recognition Deficit?
Considering the giving of praise is largely free, why isn’t praise more widely distributed in the workplace and beyond? Perhaps it’s because some potential praise givers risk feeling a recognition message might be misconstrued or have the potential to lack genuineness. Others question if praise should only be given for the big things. A recent Inc. article highlighted the when, where and how of effective praise giving. In the article, Author Gordon Tredgold, outlines what he calls the “Praise Model”.
Public – Giving praise in public highlights this is something that’s promoted and encouraged for others to replicate.
Recognition – Seeing the positive ripples of praise can encourage others to follow in example, ultimately boosting a culture.
Authentic – As humans we are all wired for connections and thus, we sense when a compliment is false so it’s important to make praise genuine or say nothing at all.
Immediate – There’s nothing like taking advantage of praise in the moment. The closer praise happens to the actual event, the bigger the impact.
Specific – When choosing to give praise, know why you’re sharing the compliment and how that relates to the culture you’re hoping to build.
Enthusiastic – Excitement in giving praise conveys you are just as pleased with the result as the person who took the initiative in the first place.
Building a culture of praise is a powerful way to improve and sustain a company culture others will want to contribute to each day. Who knows, maybe over time, praise will replace our obsession with busy.