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Praise the Moment | Sustaining Above the Line Behavior

Updated: May 11, 2023

Guiding Questions: Do you spend more time praising people for the good work they do, or correcting them for Below-the-Line Behavior?

Key Takeaway: Praising the Moment, or finding ways to recognize and praise the people you teach, coach, and lead for doing good work can help you encourage them to recreate those moments while establishing and sustaining an environment where they are happy, hopeful, and engaged to do their best work.


Kenneth Hartley Blanchard is an American author, business consultant, and motivational speaker. He once said, “People who feel good about themselves produce good results, and people who produce good results feel good about themselves.”


How do we help the people we teach, coach, and lead feel good about themselves so that they have the emotional energy to do their best work?


One tool is catching them doing something right and praising them.


We call this, “Praise the Moment.”


Once we have defined our expectations, we have to manage them. Most of us have no problem catching people doing something wrong, but how often do we look for the good things they are doing and praise them?


Catching people doing something right and telling them you noticed helps your team feel motivated, energized, and engaged in their work.


Praising the Moment is catching the people you teach, coach, and lead doing something right and telling them you noticed those moments. When we Praise the Moment, we create an environment where our people are happy, hopeful, and engaged because we recognize and praise them for doing good work. We hope that Praising the Moment will encourage and inspire more Above-the-Line behavior.


Rita Pierson, a teacher for over 40 years, told an impactful story about Praising the Moment in a Ted Talk seen by almost 6 million viewers. She said:

“I gave a quiz — 20 questions. Student missed 18. I put a +2 on his paper and a big smiley face. He said, ‘Ms. Pierson, is this an F?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Then why did you put a smiley face?’ I said, ‘Cause you’re on a roll! You got two right, you didn’t miss them all. And when we review this, won’t you do better?’ He said, ‘Yes, ma’am, I can do better.’ You see, -18 sucks all the life out of you. +2 said, ‘I ain’t all bad.’ "

How can Praising the Moment help you be a better and more effective coach, teacher, or leader? How can you find opportunities to Praise the Moment this week? What does that look like?


SOMETHING(s) TO THINK ABOUT


1. How do you like to be shown you are valued and appreciated?


2. Do you spend more time praising people for the good work they do, or correcting them for Below-the-Line Behavior? Why?


3. Why is Praising the Moment valuable or important?


4. What are 3 things/behaviors we can look at this week to praise?


5. How can we show praise for Above-the-Line Behavior?


6. Will looking for things/behaviors to praise keep us from holding the people we teach, coach, and lead meaningfully accountable to our expectations?


For a Lesson Plan, PowerPoint, and Activity Sheet that you can use with others regarding Praising the Model, click here: Praise the Moment


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