You have left home for your office. The traffic is unusually heavy. Most of the traffic signals are red and are crossed in the 2nd attempt. And of course, the cows believe that the roads are grasslands and refuse to budge. The radio isn’t playing songs of your favorite singer. And then right at the parking entry of your office building, you get to know that the gate is closed for maintenance and a detour is needed.
It is not the ideal morning. You have reached the office before time but still 15 minutes later than what you prefer. You don’t like delayed start to the day but it will be one today. And then suddenly, a colleague walks in and tells you- you look good today.
Will it lift your mood? Maybe yes. But it will surely not make you more sad or annoyed.
//Assume the setting for the remainder of the blog as an office space with seniors and juniors rather than your home and family.//
The funny (and unfortunate) part is that we take a lot of time and give more than required thought before praising others. And this is not about complimenting them for some outstanding work which is recognised monthly or annually and can be measured. Small things like the example above- just telling someone he/she looks good- is just a tonic we all need during everyday grind.
The problem with small praises is that a lot of times, they are taken in the wrong way. It becomes trickier when the person on the other side is of the opposite sex- suddenly the entire thing becomes complicated. And with our natural inclination to stay away from complications, we either forget to acknowledge the one’s effort altogether or leave it for too late when it loses relevance.
How difficult is it to just compliment people for something nice in their appearance or mannerism? It is not.
We all will immediately be raving about our 3 year old kid’s first half decent cricket shot and telling the world, posting it on Facebook and sharing in family WhatsApp groups for the older generation within 5 minutes. But taking a moment to say a one liner in the office to somebody who is probably not expecting it feels like a chore which can be avoided or maybe, left for tomorrow (or forever). We never know how much the other guy needed that Attaboy from us.
They smell good- tell them.
One slight effort on their part got you acknowledged- tell them.
They did something today which they were not doing till yesterday – tell them.
They are doing something extra which their counterparts aren’t- tell them.
The new shirt looks great- tell him.
The new kurti looks awesome- tell her.
Should you lie when it comes to praises? The answers can be very subjective but ideally, the words need to be honest and worthy. At the same time, if I believe that the scales are tipped 60-40 in the favor of my team; I am quick to acknowledge and tell them instantly. There can be no harm in slight exaggeration till the time it does not result in any kind of manipulation.
I believe in being more generous to others when it comes to praising. Till the time I know that the person on the other end did make the effort or did something going out of the way; he/she deserves nice words. Results may not be as per the expectation but if you acknowledge the effort today; you will see the results tomorrow.
Little extra good can do no harm to this world and its people. Be generous with the words, fellas.