Effective Praise

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”        1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

Did you know it takes four positive words to offset one negative word?

One business decided to test out that theory, documenting every praise and criticism the bosses gave their employees.  with one criticism for every praise, the employees felt like their boss was being unreasonably hard on them.  For two or three praises to each criticism, they still harbored negative feelings about their relationship with their bosses. But when the praise ratio hit 4 or more to one criticism, they blossomed and  classified their relationships with their bosses as being good or even great.

Sure, we all understand praise is important. But did you also know that praise comes in different forms?

You can praise a person for their traits. “Oh, look at you! You’re so smart (pretty, etc)” Be careful though. While it’s good to help build a person’s confidence,  a steady diet of this kind of praise can inflate a person’s ego. It may also lead a person to feel ashamed of who they are if they fail at a task.

You can praise them for what they do. “That was great! You won!” It’s important to praise people on their achievements, but there’s another flag here – too much of this kind of praise can lead a person to believe  their worth is based only on their performance.

– You can praise them for the process they used to achieve the desired end. “That obstacle course was hard. But you got back up when you fell and finished the race! I’m so proud of you.”  This kind of praise is the most needed  to let others know that even when they fail, even when the results of a trial disappoint us, they are still people of worth and value. Often we neglect to give this kind of praise because there was no great achievement.

Father help me always to encourage those around me with constructive criticism, surrounded with ample portions of effective praise! Amen.


About Bonnie Winters

I am a Pastor's Wife, Mom, Grandmom, writer, and crafter who loves God with all my heart! Life has been an interesting Journey, so why not pull up a comfy chair, grab a cuppa your favorite beverage and let's just share awhile!
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