Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Let's give everyone a boost!

So what with the rows going on currently regarding Big Brother (how did that make the national news??), cash for honours scandals, the woeful state of the English cricket team and all the other little things that just seem to wear down your resolve it’s easy to feel a bit glum on a Tuesday afternoon. The fact that the weekend still seems a long way away doesn’t help matters either. Plus, I don’t know about anyone else but I’m really busy at the moment and things are veering into the chaotic on occasion.

So I think it’s really important to remember the good stuff at times like this. Take some perspective on things; chances are for all the horrible stuff still in your to-do-list there’ll be a couple of things that you’ve ticked off that you’re really proud of. Only 5 minutes ago I spotted a colleague of mine jumping for joy as a role she was working on just offered 2 of her candidates because they liked them both so much. It doesn’t mean there aren't still 50-something live vacancies that she’s got currently, but it’s a little boost like that which can make your day a successful one.

Here’s the thing though – even the most positive person can get bogged down in the bad stuff and lose sight of the good stuff. We all do it and we all need help getting out of a slump like that. So here’s what I think we should all do:

Praise each other! Little bits of praise. Big bits of praise. All the praise you can muster! It’s a theme that the CHO mentions at length. It doesn’t matter if you’re a manager praising a member of your team, a colleague praising a peer or even a team member praising a manager (doesn’t happen a lot but should really happen more; they deserve it sometimes!) – everyone needs a bit more praise every now and again. You should make sure that your praise is timely, appropriate and meaningful as otherwise it will lose it’s impact.

Here's how:
Single someone out. Tell them (and everyone else if you want) why they deserve the praise. Do it as soon as they deserve any praise, don’t wait. Just walk on over (or drop an email or send a memo or whatever), deliver your praise, don’t expect any in return and get on with your day. I promise it’ll make them feel good, it’ll make you feel good and if everyone does it it’ll push a big positive buzz all round your workplace!

Get to it and let me know how it goes!

(This post was inspired by Alexander’s book which I’ve just finished. It’s really motivated me to think about lots of things to do with happiness at work and I’ll be posting more on it in the comings days. I’ll also be collaring my boss at some point and getting him to implement some of the great ideas I’ve read about. So if they’re successful you’ll be the first to hear about them here!)


robert said...


I have been reading your blog over the last few weeks and would like to thank you (praise you) for an excellent blog so far. Keep up the good work, and keep blogging!

Alexander Kjerulf said...

Yes! Praise is enormously important - and extremely simple to do.

I'm very happy that my book has inspired you, and I really look forward to hearing how you can use it more at work.

James said...

Hi Alexander, thanks for the comment, glad the post gets your thumbs up!

I'm particularly interested in 'happying up' the office environment (if only I could get my hands on a conference bike too though!) so will let you know how my quest goes. I'm thinking one of the giant beanbags you had on your site for all employees (I think they were called Omni bags, so definitely appropriate!)

Robert, hope the blog continues to keep you informed and entertained, I'm enjoying writing it so I'm glad people are enjoying reading it too.