Nectar Of Wisdom

P – Praise Genuinely

“Praise Loudly, Blame Softly”

Opening Story:

Don’t Believe a Flatterer


Once a crow snatched a piece of meat from a farmer’s child and flew to a tree. A fox was going under that tree. He saw the piece of meat in the beak of the crow. He was very tempted. He thought of having a good meal with that piece of meat. So he started flattering the crow.

“Hi, Mr. Crow”, said the fox. “What a magnificent bird you are! I can see that your body is beautiful, your feathers are fine, and your color is wonderful. I only wish I could listen to your lovely voice.”

The crow felt very flattered and agreed to sing. When he opened his month, the piece of meat fell to the ground. The fox took it up and left the place. Then the crow realized his foolishness.

“You tricked me,” said the crow angrily.

“I did, certainly, stupid crow. Thank you; be grateful to you for this tasty meat. You have the worst voice I’ve ever heard and you are the most stupid bird I’ve ever met. Remember something,” said the fox. “I said many things about your gleaming feathers and your singing voice, but I never said anything about your brain.”

The moral of the story is this: Don’t trust flatterers.


What sets an optimistic person apart from everyone else?  What makes some people dour, while others always see the brighter side of life?  How is it some people are always happy, energized, outgoing and full of joy?

“You are mamma’s boy!! Come on!! You can do it. That’s like a good boy. How often haven’t we heard mother’s showering praises on their little ones? They feel happy, and get motivated. Right from infancy, each one of us craves for praise. We are human beings endowed with the faculty of thinking and understanding. We are full of emotions and when praised we are elated and feel like doing our best always.

This holds good at all ages of life and at every stage too. Students like to be praised by their teachers. Teachers yearn for appreciation by the Principal. A housewife longs for praises from her husband, in-laws, and children, for the relentless work she does. Employees are no exception.

Communication and relationships are the foundation stone of life. So, when we praise people for the good that they have done, we are giving them back the merit for their toil. They will feel happy and will definitely do better next time. However, this should be done in positive aspects only. No man is a fool, not to understand when he is being praised unnecessarily. 

 Praise also instills confidence. It takes us closer to our boss and establishes an intimate rapport too. Often people who work hard, wait for appreciation because it boosts their morale. It takes them a step further. Perhaps, this is the reason corporates and other organizations have taken up to letters of appreciation, awards/rewards etc. Praise brings about benefits for the individual and the organization too. 

At the same time, praise must not and cannot be shown to people who do not deserve it. We cannot lie or cheat people. If a person is wrong, he has to be corrected. But, when he has done something worthwhile he must be appreciated whole-heartedly. The words spoken should strike a chord between the receiver and the giver. How often haven’t we heard of housewives at home complaining, ” My work is from dawn to dusk, but I am an unsung hero, and no one recognizes what I do.” Such candid confessions will demotivate her and she will soon end up working without any feelings. Some wrongly believe that appreciating a person will make one over-confident. This is not necessarily true, because when we appreciate a person definitely tends to do better. The person praised becomes more loyal because he/she knows you are caring, loving, recognizing and appreciating his/her work. Praise enables us to bring out the best in people and boosts them to give more.

Done well, compliments are a great communication tactic that serve to make your conversational partner feel good. But, done poorly? Well, they can easily make people feel uncomfortable—and even suspicious.


So, how do you give genuine praise that sends the message you want and doesn’t cause the other person to cringe? Make sure you follow these five key tips.




1. Be Authentic

While it might seem somewhat obvious, the secret to seeming genuine is to actually be genuine. Before you dish out a compliment, make sure that you’re doing so because something truly deserves recognition—and not just because you want to fill the silence or seem polite.

Phony, insincere comments are easy to spot immediately. So, this is yet another instance in which honesty really is the best policy.


2. Don’t Overdo It

In a similar vein, it’s best to avoid going overboard with a string of compliments. Yes, doling out a long stream of niceties might seem like a surefire way to foster a reputation as a positive and kind professional.

But, unfortunately, the pendulum can also swing the other way—causing you to seem like a total disingenuous brown-noser. Plus, think about it this way: If you’re constantly voicing compliment after compliment, they’ll quickly lose their impact and hold almost no value for your recipients.


3. Get Specific

Broad, vague, and completely open-ended compliments can be somewhat awkward to receive—and even more awkward to respond to. This is why the most effective ones are specific.

Rather than saying something general like, “You’re so smart!”—you’ll want to narrow things down a bit.

Something like, “I was really impressed with that sales report you recently compiled. You did a great job with it!” demonstrates a real level of interest and engagement in what that person did—making your compliment seem that much more legitimate.

4. Keep it Short

When it comes to complimenting someone, the shorter the better. While you might feel tempted to ramble on about that person’s amazing accomplishment, keeping things brief is always your best bet.

Why? Well, if you keep going, you run the risk of watering down your initial message and making your conversational partner feel uneasy with that much praise and attention.

So, while your efforts to express endless adoration are admirable, do your best to keep things concise.

5. Be Relevant

As with anything, timing is key when it comes to paying an effective compliment.

Telling your colleague how much you love her sweater while gathered around the coffee pot in the morning is great. But, doing so in the middle of a team brainstorming session? Well, it’s not quite as appropriate.

Make sure to consider time and place before chiming in with your praise. Context can make a world of difference.

Complimenting is a great way to foster a reputation as polite and friendly—as long as you do it right. Remember to follow these five tips, and you’ll dish out compliments that are sincere, rather than cringe-worthy.


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