Don’t just thank the messenger


It’s human nature to shoot the messenger — we tend to place the full brunt of our anger and blame on the person who delivers a piece of bad news. However, I think people act the same way when it comes to delivering praise. In other words, when someone helps you resolve a problem or complete a complex task, the most visible person is the one who gets all the thanks. Meanwhile, the people laboring behind the scenes often do so without any recognition from the very people they’re helping.

So the next time you find yourself giving out praise, remind the recipient that it extends to their colleagues as well. Sometimes they’ll pass your message along, other times they won’t. But even the small amount of praise that gets past the front lines can make a world of difference in the spirit of that team, and helps ensure that you get the same level of service in the future.