Thursday, December 1, 2011

Praise for the BFF

I had the chance to spend a few hours away from my new Lil’ Mister last weekend. My BFF (yes, some people over the age of 30 still refer to their life-long friends as BFF’s) picked me up and we shopped, talked, and laughed a little. It was great! We have known each other since we were 10 years old and even though we don’t speak everyday---or every week, I can always count on her for honesty, support, and some good old girl talk. And if you know anything about me or my blog, it should not surprise you to hear that I even managed to squeeze in a bit of personal development.

You see, she had recently achieved a major personal accomplishment without even realizing it. After hearing about it I immediately began to celebrate with her and by me celebrating her, it seemed as if she felt a sense of permission to celebrate herself.

It was great! It was also enlightening. I realized two things:

  1. Adults need praise too. As a mother of two, praise has been on autopilot in our home for years. Whenever my daughter---and now my son does something new, wonderful, unique, or just plain cute. We praise them with rewards, compliments, kisses, and hugs. They feel validated and worthy. It also cultivates positive behavior and increases the chances of them doing something praise worthy in the future. The same actually applies to adults. As an administrator, I often used praise to encourage a positive and productive work- flow among my employees. I use it now with my clients and as a speaker and mentor. However, I didn’t always pay as much attention to the celebration I gave my friends and family. Of course I am very liberal with my “good job(s)” and “you look nice(s)”, but to actually take a genuine moment to truly acknowledge the accomplishments of a friend---right on the spot---with a good old celebration is something all together special. When we celebrate others, we also give them the encouragement they need to celebrate themselves.

  2. I need more girls’-day- outings! Shopping, laughing, and some girl (or guy) talk is a must do.
I encourage you to encourage a friend. Find a reason to celebrate your loved ones, employees, and clients. Your praise could be the thing that pushes them to find significant success.

How do you respond to praise? When was the last time you celebrated with a friend? Who, in your life, deserves a celebration?

To Blog…Nakeia

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