WOW Word-Of-the-Week #339: Praise

January 31, 2011 by  

Praise – to voice approval, commendation, or esteem.

When was the last time you praised someone on your staff? How about your children or grand-children? Do you remember the last time someone praised you?

Lots of Praise!

This may surprise you, but the latest study of college students “found that the desire for praise trumped other desires or needs. The USA article written by Sharon Jayson and titled, “Youths prefer praise to sex, booze. Study: Self-esteem takes precedence” goes on to state, “Sex, booze or money just can’t compare with the jolt young people get from a boost to their self-esteem.

“The study gauged the desire for praise, as well as the desire to engage in sex, drink alcohol, get a paycheck, eat a favorite food or see a best friend. They favored experiences that boosted self- esteem, such as receiving a good grade or a compliment.”

Bill Coraro, a sociologist at Indiana University-Bloomington says, “More and more kids are being raised with high expectations. Kids from a very early age are being socialized to do well – to be hard workers. It creates this sense of entitlement. So achieving and being praised for that achievement is what’s most important in their view in terms of themselves. It doesn’t mean they won’t engage in these other activities, but they’re not held up as being as important.”

“Self-esteem is a basic human need. All humans want to have positive emotional feelings about themselves. It’s about confidence in your ability to deal with life’s challenges and a sense of personal worth, rather that generalized praise and undeserved rewards.

This week focus on giving and receiving praise. Does it make you feel uncomfortable when someone compliments you? Do you understand how important it is to specifically state the praise and not make general statements? As a parent can you relate to all the praise that kids today receive?

Reader Responses

“We see the doling out of praise so rarely in my office, it is almost as if the paycheck replaces it. The hard work is taken for granted and the paycheck is considered reward enough. Praise is as important as making eye contact others. Not only does it acknowledge, but it enhances our self worth. Every day I tell a number of people what a great job they do in the office. There is an older woman I work with in the office, and I never fail to tell her what a wonderful job she does every day. Her response is: I wish the people I worked for would tell me that.” There are two reasons for this lack of praise: one, the supervisors or managers are not good communicators. Two, they don’t feel it is important. Understanding that this attitude is pervasive, I have come not to expect any praise. However, I enjoy it a great deal when someone tells me how much they enjoyed reading one of my books or features. It acknowledges and shows people are impressed. As a father, I remind my daughters every day that they are the best and they can do it. I pay attention to their requests and compliment them when they accomplish something. Their self-esteem will be the better for it as they move on in school and in life. We all need praise. Not only is it good for our self esteem, it brightens what could be lousy days. And we all have those. So, let’s remember to tell our co-workers, friends and family how important they are with praise and gratitude. It is very important. Thank you for the word, Susan. And you know, I will always sing your praises.” – “Warrior”Joe

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