The Power of Praising People

Quote of the Week

“There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say and how we say it.”
~ Dale Carnegie

The Power of Praising People

by Chris Widener

One of the keys to success is to have successful relationships. We are not islands and we don’t get to the top by ourselves. And one of the key ways to grow successful in our relationships is to be “life-giving” people to others. Every person we meet, we either give life to or take life from. You know what I mean. There are people who encourage you and when you are done being with them you feel built up. Then there are others who you feel torn down by. Successful people are people who have mastered the art of building others up.

One of the ways we build people up is to praise them. There is power in praising people! Something begins to happen in them, in you, and in your relationship when you praise someone. Remember a time when someone told you something about yourself in a praising manner? It was great, wasn’t it? You probably liked that person more after they praised you, didn’t you?

Now I am not talking about praising people for the sake of praising people. I am talking about honestly looking for and praising positive character traits and actions of others around you. Don’t lie to people. If they have done something wrong, correct it, but when they do something right, praise it!

With that said, here are benefits of and ways to start praising people.


  • Your relationship grows. Life is about relationships. Family relationships, friends and co-workers. When we begin to praise people for their positive aspects, our relationships grow. It puts them, and us, on the fast track.
  • Your leadership and influence grows. Who is going to have greater leadership and influence capacity in the lives of their followers, the one who tears down or the one who builds up?
  • Stronger relationships and loyalty. When the person is appreciated and praised, they become fiercely loyal, because they know that you care for them, love them, and appreciate them. This will take you to success.
  • Happier, more fulfilled people. I truly believe it is our job to build others up, and that they need it. It is a good thing to invest in the lives of others by praising and encouraging them. Even if we never get anything in return, it is the right thing to do to build up other people. Someone else will always come along to tear them down; the successful person will instill in them the power of praise!

Some Ways to Praise

Character traits
Is there someone you know who is joyful? Hard-working? Honest? Then let them know how much you appreciate that in them. You can do it with a word or a card, or a phone call. Say something like this, “You know, Tom, I think it is great that you are such a hard worker. It seems like you are always the first one here and the last one to leave. You really set a good example and I want you to know how much I appreciate that.” Simple!


Same idea as above. “Sue, I don’t know if anybody else has told you this, but your work on the Johnson account was excellent. You have a wonderful ability to communicate the vision of the project, and that helps all the rest of us out in our roles and tasks. Thanks for that. It is greatly appreciated.”

Other ways you can show praise and appreciation are with a card, a gift or time off from work.

Make it your goal to praise at least five people a day. If you can, praise 10 people a day. Or perhaps you can try to praise everyone you come in contact with. It just takes discipline and a little work.

Any way you cut it, though, there is power in praising people. First for them, then for you!

Chris Widener is the President of Made for Success. Chris can be reached at

Coaching Call to Action

Many of my clients are concerned with the “political” landscape they encounter inside organizations.  Part of the “art” of being politically savvy is to build relationships with people.  Praising people is a way to begin this process.  This week identify 2 or 3 key people you want/need to connect with and consider their admirable traits or actions that you can acknowledge.  If you want to practice this idea first, feel free to send me an email with your ideas.