Do you appreciate a word of praise? Do you like giving praise where it is due?

When I was working full time, I realised the importance of praise and encouragement. Even now at my ripe old age, if someone tells me I am doing a good job, I feel elated. It spurs me on to do better things.

So imagine how a younger person would feel to be told they are appreciated. Praise is a powerful tool that can build their confidence and give them self-worth. In my opinion cannot be underestimated.

Too often we jump to complain, but are not so quick to give a complement. Here are 5 ways to can express your praise for others.

Thank One Person a Day

Sometime ago I decided I would try and praise at least one person a day. This could be a waitress in the coffee shop or a helpful shop assistant. It could be anyone whose path I crossed and who looked like they needed a boost. The reaction I have had has been so uplifting, I urge you to try it!

When I ask to speak to a manager or supervisor, faces fall. This woman is about to make a fuss and complain – they think. So when I praise instead, the relief is palpable. Gratitude for my few words is overwhelming.

Appreciate a Person in Uniform

A case in point is the busy security lines at airports. The staff is working tirelessly to get hoards of people through the system. Often the general public are complaining about the wait and inconvenience, albeit for their own safety.

I once congratulated a duty supervisor on the cheerful attitude of his staff one busy morning at Gatwick Airport. I felt I had made his day. He admitted no one had ever given any positive feedback but many were quick to criticise. What a sorry state of affairs.

Thank a Younger Person

Another time I was in a very busy coffee shop. A very young girl who looked like a student, was struggling to cope alone with a long line of customers. To her credit she kept smiling, despite the grumblings about ‘a long wait’. She greeted each customer with courtesy.

As well as thanking her for her hard work, I approached her manager, who was obviously expecting me to complain. I pointed out that maybe she needed some help and encouragement. I hope my suggestions filtered through and her job got a bit easier.

Compliment a Family Member or Friend

As I mention this category, I hang my head in shame. Too often we forget to praise the ones we love. We take it for granted that they know how we feel. So while I take the time to praise complete strangers, I often overlook my nearest and dearest. I have two very special daughters, one a great mother and an inspiring teacher.

I also appreciate my youngest daughter, who has the most caring and empathic nature. Not forgetting my long-suffering husband who puts everyone before himself. I am surely blessed and need to tell them so more often.

Praise Yourself

And once again we tend to fall short here. We are often very self-critical and constantly underestimate our achievements. I think many of us were brought up in the 1950’s. This was a time when it was expected that you did your best and no more was said. But as I write, the realisation dawns that we can work hard to achieve our goals, and deserve a pat on the back occasionally. I am sure you can relate to this.

Hope you don’t mind my input and of course the decision is yours

So next time you see people doing the best they can, (including those close to you as well as yourself) working hard under difficult circumstances, and managing to smile through, just a quiet word of praise may make their day.

Do you try to complement a stranger or friend every day? When was the last time someone gave you a genuine complement? How did it make you feel?

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