Feelings of pride are great ones to have, and great ones to receive. It always feels great when others are proud of us, or proud of the work we’ve accomplished.
And being proud, in itself, and if shared the “right” way, can be all the motivation that is necessary in order for folks to continue to develop.
I wrote previously about my youngest daughter having difficulty staying in bed at night. She always wants to tell us “one more thing” and of course, there are no “one more things”. There are hundreds of additional things, all of which serve as a way for her to keep interacting with us, even after she should be in bed.
Last night, we had a “talk” with her about what we needed her to do, and the benefits and disadvantages of her doing it. We asked her to repeat what she had heard, and it is amazing how much the three-year old mind can interpret and build on.
And last night, she stayed in bed.
So, this morning I made sure to let her know how proud of her we were, and to explicitly share what she did that made us so proud. I even asked her to infer why we were so proud, which she was easily able to do.
Regardless of our roles, it is important to recognize successes when they come, and to ask our learners to describe their successes and why they make us feel the way we do. Feedback, for instance, “I’m so proud of you,” is only as good as the context it is shared in; it means little if we don’t provide the specifics that need to accompany it.
This parenting example made me think deeply about not only the tremendous need for positive feedback, but the necessity for sharing why we’re supplying it, particularly if we want it to stick.