Giving praise is worth the effort

Giving praise is worth the effort

Think about a colleague or a member of your team (or a friend…that works too).

What do you appreciate about them? What are their secret skills? What project or assignment or initiative have they knocked out of the park recently? What makes them especially awesome?

Chances are, this is a pretty simple exercise. We work with rockstars and it’s easy to think about what makes them so special.

Here’s the harder question: When was the last time you told them what’s in your head right now? When was the last time you sat down to articulate thoughtful, specific praise to your team? 

Friends, those shout-outs matter.

Giving praise is worth the effort. 

Thumbs up

We all need reminding that we are good at our jobs — and it always feels good to know that we’re appreciated. Especially these days, when we’re working in our isolated home-bubbles, a vote of confidence from a boss or colleague can make all the difference. 

As an added bonus, giving praise makes you feel good, too! It’s that same gratitude magic in a different package. But for whatever reason, we don’t make the time to give praise. We assume people already know what we appreciate about them.

This week, stop assuming. Send a Slack message, write an email, pick up the phone. Let your team know how awesome they are. 

It’s ok to turn your camera off.

It’s ok to turn your camera off.

Hello, our Zoom-fatigued, emotionally exhausted, been-working-for-a-year-straight-through-a-pandemic friends. How is everyone doing?

As we approach the one-year anniversary of full-time work-from-home life for our team, we want to give each of you a gift:

It’s ok to turn your camera off.

Listen. We’ve been at this a long time. And while seeing your colleagues’ faces on a screen has its benefits, it can be incredibly draining. (It’s science! Stanford researchers just published a study that concludes that “videoconferencing technologies are exhausting.”)

Person on a zoom conference call

And while we can’t avoid every Zoom gathering or cancel all of our meetings, we can (and should) give our brains, and ourselves, a break. Turn off the camera. Or try this old school thing called a phone call.

Put in headphones, stand up, and walk around. If you’re brainstorming, try doing a monotonous task like washing dishes or wiping down counters while you chat. In our experience, it has the same brain-loosening power as doodling—but you end up with a clean kitchen. Or simply close your eyes while you think.

You get to prioritize your energy and mental health.

And you don’t need to be staring at someone to have an effective meeting.