You’ve likely been encouraged to give credit when credit is due once or twice. The positive effects of a decision to prop someone up – giving them their deserved compliments and praise – may be familiar to you. Believing in the benefits which guide this advice and infusing our actions with it is not easy however.
This article touches on a perspective which seldom fails in promoting kindness, compliments, and praise: the selfish one.
Below are reasons why you gain personally when you publicly praise others and how to do it in a way which grows your influence in the context you find yourself in.
The Channel of Positive Attention vs the Destination of It
It seems to be human nature to desire being on the receiving end of positive recognition in the form of praise or compliments. Positive social affirmation is a desired outcome to a frightening number of decisions people make day-to-day.
Those who are on the receiving end of the positive attention they crave tend to become reliant on that attention traveling to them. They seek to become destinations of positive attention, the last stop to the compliments and praise; the full owners.
The positive attention they yearn to be the recipient of can travel to them via various channels. Word of mouth, a recognition email at work, or a compliment from a stranger at the store are methods of travel of positive attention. The carriers of that attention in the examples above would be a friend, a team-lead, or a stranger, respectively.
Positive attention which stagnates at its last stop seems to spoil with time and exposure. It seems to be human nature to poke holes in someone’s established excellent reputation, especially if they keep on getting showered with positive attention.
The more positive praise and attention that’s gathered in one place or on one person, the more pull there will be from external forces for that positive attention to travel towards them.
Carrying / Routing Positive Attention Rather Than Receiving It
The carriers of positive attention garner benefits of handling and routing positive attention without risking it stagnating on them. Their mere interaction with positive attention or praise by channeling that praise toward a deserving recipient places the carrier in the good graces of everyone who agrees.
For example, if you publicly compliment a colleague at work for a task they’ve done well, other members of your team may agree with that compliment. Agreement from others would be a positive social metric that you’d gain.
Not only is disagreement unlikely in the immediate aftermath of shining a positive light on someone else, you serve to gain positive feedback from others whilst not having attention stick to you for long. Questions as to your motivations for praising someone in a social / professional setting will be short-lived since the attention is quickly diverted to the individual you’re praising.
The benefits you’d gain would be agreement from others, a reputation of prompting others up, and the tendency of others to want to be in your sightlines in an effort to trigger your praise of them.
Authenticity Is Paramount, Unveiled Flattery Will Damage
A key to being a carrier of positive attention and routing it effectively is authenticity in the information that you dispense. The compliments you publicly deploy about someone need to be legitimate and valid. They need to be recognized by those witnessing the compliments coming from you as being in line with what they personally think of the individual being complimented.
Flattery causes negative attention to stick to couriers of it. It devalues compliments and praise; causing them to not be believed by witnesses and listeners. Flattery thereby is a losing situation for both the giver and receiver of it.
The benefits of being a courier of attention are dependent on honesty and straightforwardness. Flashy methods of delivering praise in an effort to be recognized for delivering it are attempts to have some of that positive attention left behind for the presenter.
Do not yearn for any fraction of the positive attention that you carry to be left behind for you. The tangible benefits of being a courier of positive attention only come when you rid yourself of the desire to be rewarded for rewarding others.
What Happens When You Become the Merchant of Praise
Authentic, humble, and straightforward praise of others encourages an environment of positivity. Getting in, speaking the praise, and allowing the recipient to bask in it will first encourage those around the recipient to agree and amplify that praise.
Onlookers and witnesses will tend to agree with truthful praise when it is presented in a way which doesn’t seek to reward the presenter of that praise. It is an easy way for you to be considered right and truthful.
The recipient would be considered humble and not seeking praise because it originated organically from an outside source. The recipient of your honest praise will reward you for that in some form or another – typically in a socially loyal manner.
The person being praised will experience an organic boost to their reputation. Witnesses of that will develop a perception of you which encourages their openness toward you. Association with you will be tied to an elevated reputation, no matter how trivial those benefits may seem.
They will consider you as somebody who props up reputations, who doesn’t allow competitive feelings to get in the way of truth. As a result they will not feel threatened to let you into their more sensitive matters – whether professional or personal.
Overall, you’d be operating on a level higher than the ones who are on a constant lookout to be the recipients of praise. You will begin to understand there are benefits which are bigger, more effective, to strive for rather than always yearning to stroke your pride.
You will also learn how powerful the prideful desires of those around you tend to be. How recipients of positive attention are punished for it by other prideful beings will also become evident.
Honest praise lobbed the way of even the coldest soul tends to warm it and in turn unlock it. The various barriers around you lower when you make a habit of carrying positive attention rather than always looking to receive it.