Appreciation is one of the most important levers of influence. And influence, in turn, characterizes leadership effectiveness.
So if you build the habit of expressing appreciation more often and more effectively, you will become a better leader.
The challenge here is that there are many traps in showing appreciation.
If you fall into these traps - and many of them are quite hidden - you can have the exact opposite effect of what you want. As a result, you diminish your impact, sometimes permanently.
Praise only the result
This may be surprising for many, but the exclusive praise and appreciation of the result leads us to associate the positive emotion with the achievement.
Among other things, this leads us to try only those things that are quite certain to bring us a result. The motivation to try something new or to take risks will decrease more and more.
What you should do instead: value personal effort and commitment.
Praise the person
By doing this, you link the result to the person per se - something that is difficult to influence.
Unconsciously, we then anchor that it doesn't really matter what we do, as long as we only show certain qualities of ourselves. In this way, we directly reduce the motivation to put in the effort in the future.
If we praise too much and too emphatically, on the one hand it seems untrustworthy and on the other hand it shifts the benchmark: Everything that is not praised quite as much in the future cannot be just as good.
The result: uncertainty about what is really important.
Insincere or trivial praise
This is immediately obvious to everyone: insincere praise has exactly the opposite effect. It goes along the lines of the old joke that the boss is now going for another round of "praise" without knowing exactly what for in the first place.
The result: cynicism and frustration.
Praise what comes easily
The surprising insight here is that it can have a demotivating effect if you strongly acknowledge the thing that someone does without effort anyway.
If you repeat this more often, it programs us to cut back on intrinsic drive and only do it in the future if we can expect recognition for it (which, of course, happens completely unconsciously).
And that is exactly the opposite of what you want to achieve.
Praise what is a lot of fun
This is similar to the previous point: don't diminish the joy by expressing too much appreciation for it.
But what you can very well mention positively in these cases is the enthusiasm and joy that were brought in.
Praise in comparison
If you praise someone in relation to the results of others, you are treading on thin ice.
For on the one hand, the other person may wonder why others are being brought in at this point. This reduces the value of the recognition.
And on the other hand, it can feel like others had to lose so that I could achieve my performance. This view is detrimental to future motivation and one's own drive.
So here you have seven typical pitfalls in showing appreciation. Since this is about changing habits, coaching can help a lot to get to the next level as a leader. 👉 Just get in touch for a quick chat.
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