As you know, I am an enthusiastic proponent of managers learning new recognition strategies in order to better engage their staffs. So when I saw a column by Lucy Kellaway in today's Financial Times on what leaders should remember when recognizing good work, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c89a5f04-46ea-11de-923e-00144feabdc0.html, I was drawn to it.
The article is thought-provoking, and here are my take-aways:
1. We often teach that recognition should be specific, but Lucy says this is not always a good idea. She shares the example of a leader who told a direct report, "You are a brilliant administrator." Leaving it at "you are brilliant" would have been better. I hadn't thought of that before, but it makes sense. I know for me the second example would have been more effective.
2. Lucy says she is "addicted to praise." I think most of us are, and the leader who realizes this will have an awesome tool in her arsenal.
3. "Praise is hellishly difficult to get right: good praise is even more of an art form than good criticism, and bad praise is worse than none at all."
4. Lucy closes the article by stressing the importance of handwritten notes. Amen!