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The Power of Praise: Becoming a Great Leader #5

The Power of Praise: Becoming a Great Leader #5
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    Effective leaders treat others with a positive regard. Specifically, effective leaders understand the power of appreciation. This goes beyond the Carnegie precepts of “Be hardy in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”

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    Effective praise is a skill set that must be learned like any other. As leaders we often find ourselves spending and inordinate amount of time identifying what is wrong, identifying mistakes, and concentrating on errors. Effective leaders look for opportunities to find people doing things right and offer them the encouragement they need to keep on doing things right.

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    According to Dr. Ben Bissell there are five things a leader can do to insure their statements of praise are effective.

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    1. Make sure the praise is authentic. Authentic does not mean it must be a tremendous accomplishment. It does mean it has to be honest. You don’t need to wait until your friend has finished a marathon to offer praise. In fact it may be more effective to acknowledge when he has reached a two mile goal.
    2. Make sure the praise is specific. Acknowledging the excellent way in which an irate client was handled is an excellent example. Identify areas of strength and acknowledge them.
    3. Make sure the praise is immediate. Providing positive feed back as soon as things happen is a powerful tool to encourage them to happen again.
    4. Make sure the praise is untainted. Tainted praise has an ulterior motive. Tainted praise often has the addendum “but” attached.
    5. Make sure the praise is private. Recognizing someone in public is often more a performance by the speaker rather than support for the subject of the praise.

    How ever you elect to reinforce others it is important that you do so on a regular basis.

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    Previous posts in the series:

    Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).

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    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

    The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

    In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

    Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

    1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

    What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

    Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

    2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

    Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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    How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

    Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

    Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

    3. Get comfortable with discomfort

    One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

    Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

    4. See failure as a teacher

    Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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    Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

    Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

    10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

    5. Take baby steps

    Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

    Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

    Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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    The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

    6. Hang out with risk takers

    There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

    Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

    7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

    Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

    Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

    8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

    What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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    9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

    Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

    If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

    10. Focus on the fun

    Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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