52 Intentional Affirmations:

#17. I enjoy praising the efforts of others! This week I will intentionally encourage someone who is striving for success

Each week I’m reporting here on my personal experience in implementing my 52 Intentional Affirmations. These are designed to help us be more intentionally mindful of the impact our intentions have on living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life. (Click Here to start work on your own 52 Intentional Affirmations).

What a joy this week has been as I’ve intentionally been looking for opportunities to praise and encourage people around me who are striving in different ways in their lives.

I remember learning the power of genuine and specific praise in building trust relationships when reading a book that was gifted to me by the manager of my first job over three decades ago. The book was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and just one of the many quotes from Hill is this “Praise more freely than you criticize.”

My friend and mentor for so long now, Ron Willingham, has a wonderful philosophy on praise when he says “See more in others than they see in themselves.”

In Australia we have such a propensity toward sarcasm when we communicate with family, friends and colleagues, which on the surface can be funny, but dig deep enough and sarcasm tends to get reciprocated with sarcasm and it can becomce a bit of a downward spiral in relationships.

Whereas, genuine praise for others that is substantiated with behavioural language adds value to the trust bank.

This week’s intentional affirmation put me on a mission to see more in others than they see in themselves and to praise more often and leave criticism to others.

It’s also interesting when you break a potential downward spiral of sarcasm and criticism by offering an alternative view by praising where others are not. It creates a definite pattern interrupt, and pretty quickly your praise is either validated, or at least questioned to the point where the conversation becomes a much more healthy one.

My efforts in praising were always genuine, and always founded on observable and measureable behaviour. Some of the praise was for small things that might have gone unnoticed, and others more significant.

And the reality is while I felt good about giving praise, I felt really good about searching for it as well… in fact, probably even more. In a way it was providing me with ‘micro-meaning’. When we pursue intentional activities that we find meaningful, it feeds our sense of purpose and overall sense of well-being.

Genuine behavioural based praise builds trust and when trust is the foundation of a relationship, and people are getting praised for all the right reasons, all the right reasons get repeated more often.

Who are the people in your work and personal life who are striving, and what will you find them doing that you’ll take some intentional action and give a little well placed praise?