12 October 2013

How many times do you compliment people each day? Each week? Sometimes, it’s all too easy to go through life only picking up on the negatives. Some people are very good at praising others. But I am sure you can think of individuals who far more readily complain when things go wrong and rarely have anything good to say.

Well, today began with the ‘oversized party’ on the train into London informing the entire carriage of their views about those passengers who chose to put their bags on the seat next to them. I was one of those travellers as I was trying to use my laptop, read some papers for a meeting, extend my ‘to-do’ list and drink coffee. Yes, ladies can multi-task! However, if the delightful young ladies had decided to ask in a polite manner, as most normal commuters would, whether anyone was sat where my bag was, they could have enjoyed the comfort of a seat rather than standing alongside the toilets and rubbish bins for their journey from Reading. Hey ho…. you live and learn in life, I guess.

Coming into London, I was rather stunned when, standing to exit the train which was just drawing into Paddington, a gentleman asked if he could pass me, only to stop and stand in front of me! Clearly his journey was far more pressing than mine which meant he needed to be one man further ahead in the queue to get off the train. The lady behind me commented upon this and in the ensuing minute or so, which included our polite and humorous discussion about how his journey was clearly extremely important, the chap apologised and took his proper position in the line to depart the train. Apparently, he didn’t realise I was disembarking the train, despite the fact that London Paddington is the last stop on the train…. hmmm….

The content of the meeting which I chaired today is obviously not for public consumption. However, it was a pleasure shortly after the meeting to be complimented by my Executive colleagues on not one but two occasions. Which made me think of the topic for this blog….

Criticism is quick and easy to give out and is often detrimental to the recipient in some way. Praise takes far more time and consideration and the effect lasts significantly longer. Three parts praise for every criticism is the best approach in managing any individual or any team. Not always easy …. believe me, I was a teacher for twelve years! However, it can be done and develops far better relationships with people.

Try it next week and see how many individuals you can make smile.

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