Pointers on praise: Why saying "Nice job!" falls flat

Are your employees well-connected? It could drive profits | practice | Pointers on praise: Why saying "Nice job!" falls flat
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November 17, 2023
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Are your employees well-connected? It could drive profits
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Companies with employees who have extensive professional networks on social media platforms such as LinkedIn tend to produce more economically and scientifically valuable innovation, according to a Harvard Business School study. Managers can leverage this knowledge during the hiring stage, says researcher Frank Nagle, especially among middle- and lower-level employees whose connections can help drive business.
Full Story: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge (11/14) 
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Put it into practice: Highly-connected team members from all parts of the organization can drive overall value for a company, Nagle says, but more research is needed on which types of connections matter most. "Are these connections more important if you are somebody in sales versus someone in research?"
Smarter Communication
Pointers on praise: Why saying "Nice job!" falls flat
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The best compliments feature two elements: the praise and evidence of sincerity, writes sales and leadership consultant Steve Keating. Sincerity comes through specificity, and "[i]f you can't be specific, you're leaving the door to doubt open in the mind of the person you're complimenting," Keating says.
Full Story: LeadToday (11/16) 
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Put it into practice: Don't give a compliment that's not genuine, and choose the right time and reason for one, Keating suggests. Avoid giving a backhanded compliment, and read Keating's examples of all of these.
Careful communication of your corporate strategy to all stakeholders can make or break its success, especially in volatile times, Douglass Hatcher, president of Communicate4Impact, writes. Use IBM's highly successful Innovation Jam -- a strategy development and alignment template -- to craft a structured, engagement-heavy internal communications effort and ensure it encourages input from every company level, Hatcher advises.
Full Story: Ragan (11/14) 
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Put it into practice: Conduct a communications survey to see how close to an Innovation Jam you are, Hatcher suggests. Questions to ask cover effectiveness of communication in and across teams, the existence of silos and understanding other people's roles.
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Get your mind and body right each Friday
No time to meditate? Do it while you're running
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Running meditation may be a way to combine two healthful practices to achieve a state of "flow," whether you're running outdoors or on a treadmill, says Lucie Cowan, a personal trainer at Third Space. "This flow state can be a powerful stress reducer, as it shifts your focus away from stressors and into the present moment," says Cowan, who -- along with other trainers -- outlines how to make running meditation work for you.
Full Story: woman&home (11/12) 
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Daily Diversion
A pond at Hawaii's Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge has turned a bright Barbie pink thanks to archaea -- a type of single-celled organism that increases salt levels, causing discoloration. The coming rainy season will likely wash the pink away, says refuge manager Bret Wolfe, but in the meantime, the pond has become a tourist attraction, drawing more than 11,000 visitors last weekend, one even sporting pink hair.
Full Story: Atlas Obscura (11/15) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
A yellow residue was all that was left in imported jars found in the tomb of the Egyptian king Scorpion I. What did researchers believe the residue to be evidence of?
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
Back when I was an anchor for the now-defunct CNNRadio, my brother-in-law happened to hear one of my newscasts on the radio and remarked, "You sound so professional."

I had spent nearly 15 years honing my craft by then, so I would expect so. We've all experienced the eye-roll-inducing backhanded compliment. I'm sure my brother-in-law didn't mean it that way since I was once the bratty kid all grown up doing professional news anchoring. Still, the compliment felt insulting.

Steve Keating's advice on giving a good, sincere compliment can guide you on how to use body language, personalization and cultural sensitivity to ensure your praise lands as you intend.

Have you received backhanded compliments? Has your sincere compliment been seen as backhanded or landed flat? Tell me about your experiences.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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