This post is also available in: Polish
Marcin, the way you ran the meeting was excellent. It was to the point, and everything was on time.
Marek, you prepared a great template. It's so easy to use!
Andrzej, I heard how you handled that case with Grzegorz. I really appreciate the way you solved it.
Jacek, thank you for the report you sent me yesterday. It contains everything I asked for.
Kasia, your presentation yesterday was really interesting. I remembered a lot of details.
Marian, I really like your pants! You look great in them.
Guys, you did really well! The way you solved that problem was excellent. Everyone knows what
the issue was and no one feels resentful.
Yesterday’s dinner was really delicious. It was a pleasant to be your guest!
How often do you say similar things to your friends, employees, and colleagues? How often do you praise others and notice well-executed tasks? Probably not often enough!
Simple words that show that you notice something done well are priceless. They make other people feel appreciated and more confident, people want to continue to perform well.
How do I know this?
No, I haven't learned it from books or articles. I learned this from others. I know how I feel when someone notices that I care, that I do something well, or anything else that is positive in my behavior. I feel appreciated and motivated. I don't need much; a few simple words of praise are enough. And the sooner after the event I hear the praise, the more I believe in it, the easier it is to remember, and the happier I am. I see similar reactions in others. It isn't only me that reacts this way.
I'd love for you to really understand my intentions here. I don't give out praise to make others like me more. I just believe that good things should be noticed. Sometimes we don’t even notice if we’ve done something good! That is why it's so important to notice such events for others and talk about them. I like and need to hear that I did well, that is why I praise others myself.
Giving out praise in Poland
There is one interesting thing connected with giving praise in Poland: we have a strange incompetence in accepting praise. It's very common in our culture. Give praise to someone from the States, and he/she will smile and say thank you, and will be happy. When you praise someone from Poland, it's very likely that you'll be met with a very different reaction. You may hear: "Seriously? There are so many things to be finished…", "Everyone could do this…", "I still have a lot to learn, and I could’ve done better…". Sound familiar? I see similar reactions very often. I'm not sure why it's like this. I have no idea why we can't be just happy when someone notices that we’ve done a good job! It's so simple to react differently: "Thanks! I'm happy that you noticed!", "Wow, you made my day," "Thanks, it's good to know that someone notices what I do," or simply say "thank you" with a smile :)
Praise and compliments are nice. They make us and others happy. It's so much easier to be with people that can both give and receive praise.
Please practice saying nice things to others, and noticing the little things they do. Show appreciation. Also, accept the praise that you’re given. Say "thank you" with a smile. When someone praises you, it means they have a good reason for doing so!
Call to action!
I'd even suggest making a resolution to give someone a compliment every day. What would you say to that? Let it be your homework :)