[The U in ATTITUDE]
ATTITUDE – Authentic, Tenacious, Teachable, Imaginative, Tolerant, Uplifting, Decisive, Energizing
Some people need CPR. Instead, give them EPR—encouragement, praise, and recognition. John Shin
Jumping on the negativity bandwagon is easy. It takes courage and strength to take the high road and be uplifting when the chips are down. Cynicism, judgment, and hate are potent lures that surround us always. They creep in when we’re down or feeling overwhelmed with life. The good news is these negative emotions can be squashed and made powerless with a few simple adjustments.
Are you an uplifting person? Let’s start with some honest reflection.
- How would you categorize your initial reaction (positive, neutral, or negative) when facing your daily challenges?
- What about multiple challenges all happening at the same time?
- How do you feel when someone comes to you for help with his or her problems? Are you patient and willing to lend support? Do you often feel inconvenienced and overwhelmed with enough of your own problems?
Be honest with yourself. There are no right or wrong answers, and you may feel differently from one day to the next.
There is something powerful about being a supporter and a cheerleader to others. By providing a positive source of reminders and encouragement to another person, you reinforce your own belief system. In effect, you are feeding your subconscious mind during the process. The goodness and wisdom you impart serve as a reminder to you. If you have ever made a positive statement and thought (or said), “This is as much for me as it is for you,” you know what I mean.
Everyone needs encouragement. We all need a little help trying something new, pushing past the fear that is always ready to hold us back. When encouraging another person, you both grow. They get an essential dose of “you can do it” to propel them forward. You become more confident through caring and compassion which nourishes your soul. Everyone wins.
With every new endeavor, it’s likely you will perform poorly at first. Awkward, clumsy, riddled with mistakes. I’ve had my share of these awkward first moments. We’ve all been there—walking, riding a bicycle, driving a car, giving a speech. At some point in your life, you experienced a “first time” with everything. Hopefully, you received some uplifting praise for your efforts from someone that encouraged you to keep trying.
Praise is about approval and admiration. Not so much that you did it right; it’s that you did it all. Praise lets people know you are proud of them for trying. Trying something new, giving it a shot, pushing past the fear of the unknown. Admire people who are willing to look foolish and perform poorly at first because they will improve if they continue to try.
An essential part of being human is knowing what we do has value. At work, do we make a difference? At home, does our family appreciate our efforts? Without recognition, we might wonder and eventually start to think “why bother?”. The same is true for people around you. The best way to get what you want is to give it up and put it out there. But how?
The two best ways to recognize someone are: 1) Show them, and 2) Do it in front of others.
An effective way to show recognition to an individual is by giving them something tangible. A small gift, an award, a written note, or something that will serve as an ongoing reminder. Show them you care, or if you’re in sales, show them the money!
Delivering recognition in front of others is powerful because it taps into a person’s sense of pride and need for approval and acceptance. Stand up and raise a toast to them. Praise them on the company conference call. Say something heartfelt and personal in front of others. You don’t have to do this with everyone in the room always but try to recognize everyone in front of others regularly.
To recap our discussion:
- Pay attention to your default reaction with challenges (positive, neutral, or negative).
- Encouragement is as good for the giver as it is for the receiver.
- Praise is approval and admiration for trying, not for winning or being perfect.
- Recognition is a reminder to people that you value them and their achievements.
- Two great ways to recognize someone are to show them and to do it in front of others.