When people say something nice about someone else, many times they fall into a pattern of empty compliments. Positive things that are so flimsy that they won’t withstand even the slightest gust of wind.
If someone completes a job, well done even, tell them why it’s good and how it’s helped the team. Did someone do something ultra nice? Send them a hand-written note.
Too often people fall into the traps of empty compliments that can even on occasion be disheartening, which is the opposite of what we want to do, especially if we’re talking about praise. When you go above and beyond and tell people why what they did mattered, it makes all the difference.
Just one thing: let it come from deep within. DON’T recite a script. Show that person that you can be real and appreciative and that what they do matters.
When it comes to criticism and areas of opportunity, people are often too generous with what they share. Maybe it’s time to be equally generous with praise if only to see if it has any impact.
Who knows? Some people might thank you for it... and maybe even praise you while they're at it.