Changing people’s behaviour is an art.
As we already know, the reprimand is used to change undesired behaviour.
And as a loyal reader of my blog, you are undoubtedly familiar with both the constructive reprimand and the destructive reprimand.
But what do you do when you want to reinforce a behaviour you wholeheartedly approve?
I know, of course, your staff is mostly incompetent, and there’s not much to praise.
However, a miracle sometimes happens, mysteriously, and you find yourself praising spontaneously.
How do you handle it? The most widely used technique is that of the panegyric: let’s take a look at it in detail.
When to praise
- Immediately after observing the behaviour, you wish to encourage, on the emotional spur of the moment.
- Much better in public, so that everybody can see what a genius you’ve managed to pull on board.
- 15-20 minutes should be enough because the tension inside you has gone now and you can completely “let go”.
- You may indulge in emphasising his personal qualities: he’ll soon believe he’s a genius and start losing touch with his practical side.
- Be prepared – but you already know, don’t you? – for the request of a salary raise or some other privilege: sooner or later it’ll come, it’s inevitable.
- The next time you have to reprimand him – and sooner or later that day will come – you’ll find it very hard, so much harder.
- After all, why would you want to reprimand someone as good as him?
In other words, praise is more complicated than a reprimand. And more dangerous.
Why? If the destructive reprimand is something individuals get over in time, restoring self-awareness may be hard to do, and takes a long time.
So, what’s best?
Do you know any techniques for praising without causing any damage?