Giving and Accepting Praise

Over the years I’ve been extremely fortunate in finding amazing domestic and offshore resources whose work has provided high-quality results for my clients, which in turn, has helped me grow my business tremendously.

I’ve always been prone to verbalizing my gratitude when things are going well. It not only allows me an opportunity to give thanks for a job well done, but my hope is that my acknowledgement also helps people understand their value and inspires them to continue to do great work and excel even further.

Over the previous few months I’ve noticed an interesting trend. A few of my key associates have gone above and beyond the call of duty and have absolutely outdone themselves. So, I’ve reached out to them to write personal thank you notes to let them know how much they are appreciated. These notes have been detailed, specific and sent with my utmost sincerity. Essentially, I offered praise, thanks and cited how their work was helping my company immensely.

The odd thing, is that initially, I rarely got a response.

And in some cases, the praise has never been acknowledged. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Initially, I was concerned. Was my praise too-over-the top? Did it come off as disingenuous? Was my tribute to them somehow construed as sarcasm?

Yes, I was worried to say the least.

Then as time when on, I spotted a pattern. People from some geographic regions replied consistently with a “You’re welcome” or “My pleasure” and then thanked ME!

Other regions didn’t reply at all or at best just simply replied, “No worries.”

I began to wonder if people in these regions view or accept praise based on their own societies’ culture. Perhaps, I mused, maybe they are doing their job well as an expected norm and are uncomfortable or not used to hearing formalized gratitude.

My wife found a short but great article [Do we say enough of Thank Yous?] that more or less confirmed my suppositions about how and why people in certain countries around the world, don’t acknowledge praise. It would seem that this was not only true but perfectly normal in some cultures. Ah-ha! I felt better. Phew!

It’s a relief to know that all is well in the world. As for me, I’ll continue to go out of my way to let people know that I appreciate them and their great work. That’s MY norm and how I roll.

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