Yesterday, in practice 217, a new teammate told her team she’s trying to figure out how to get her cup filled around here. Being surrounded by crazies in a culture of curiosity, she was immediately greeted with curious question after curious question. As the team took her deeper into her own thinking, it became clear that one of her love languages is around words of affirmation – she loves praise. Come to think of it, don’t we all…

Who doesn’t love to be recognized and have a leader who cheers them on and notices even the smallest of accomplishments along the way. Humans thrive when proper praise follows good performance. Makes sense. So, leaders, remember to celebrate early and often. Celebrate small victories, not just large. Celebrate baby steps. Praise hard work and effort even when we lose. Praise. Got it.

And, teammate, don’t forget that you live in the real world. The perfect, praise heavy leader doesn’t exist. There will be many of your best moments missed by him/her. Oftentimes, they won’t even be present. Sometimes you won’t even have another teammate around to praise your magical moment either. And, even when people are present and the performance freakin’ magical, there will be a many moment where the leader/teammate/customer/friend is simply busy thinking about another performance or performer while participating alongside you. So, they might miss praising you ’cause their mind is preoccupied with a problem performer and the pain coming in their upcoming practice. Fact.

Remember, the best praise comes from performing. Yes, the best feedback is always from the work itself. As Mihalyi, the author of Flow, proved through his research on optimal performance, the best feedback is the immediate feedback you get from your work. So, get in the habit of tuning into your performances and knowing the difference between when you’re in the zone vs. the mediocre middle or just checking off the boxes. Your body and brain will tell you, if you’re listening, when you ought to praise yourself. Tune in. Keep working. Keep working. Keep working. Master your craft and pay attention to the tiny details that lead you to a praise worthy performance. Your boss may praise you, teammates too, and maybe even a client or two. However, none of them may notice and your cup still runneth over. Turns out the best way to maintain a full cup is to authentically esteem yourself for a job well done. The best praise comes from the performance itself.

Sounds like real, self esteem. Good…

3 thoughts on “Praise…

  1. AND… for those of you reading this, who like me might not understand Chester the first 100 times he says something, here’s what just clicked for me…

    We all know the feeling you get when you nailed a presentation, closed a deal, serviced someone in need, beat your time. My tendency in those moments is to want to call someone, share my joy and yes receive praise for my accomplishment. But the ONE matters most and is hardest to receive, is the acceptance of the praise from within.

    So, tune into those moments of personal triumphs and listen closely to the voice in your head saying YOU did well. YOU are good. YOU are amazing. Let that be the only praise you need and watch your need for external praise all be disappear.

  2. Yesterday at Bible study we discussed praise, specifically Psalms 8 and 104. From the mountains to the goldfinches, how the earth and creatures praise the Lord. We discussed our role as humans in this world, and how we praise the Lord. It dawned on me that just simply waking up to what God is calling you to do can be the best form of praise, both for oneself and for the Lord. The past couple weeks as we studied Psalms a crazy BTL/Worldview/Faith Journey has been happening where my practices, my work, my study, my pastor, my builder … all are interweaving. It’s becoming quite a ride, this waking up. Now it’s time to go do, and to remember to listen within, first. Praise the Lord, my soul.

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