Being the first to recognize, congratulate and publicize your colleagues’ success can also be a great way to ensure your own. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and people remember you favorably when you are spreading good news about them.
Cheering on your colleagues is not just the right thing; it’s also a wise career move. Being willing to genuinely congratulate and support those around you enhances your professional reputation, demonstrates your personal integrity and builds healthy, positive relationships. Think how good it feels when someone else recognizes you. Now realize that everyone else feels the same kind of glow when recognition comes their way. Recognition is not something with a finite supply, so applauding someone else’s win doesn’t mean there will be less recognition for you when it’s your turn.
The person whom you applaud today and whose kudos you share might end up in a position to refer you for an opportunity or a job, or to an influential connection. He or she might even end up as your boss! Heart-felt congratulations are remembered, and help to create a halo effect where the person you congratulated links you with the warm glow of the recognition.
What’s in it for you? On a very basic level, when you do the right thing, you feel better about yourself. You know when you do right. This helps make you a more positive person. On another level, being able to congratulate someone else sincerely shows that you are a team player and not just out for Number One. This puts you in a favorable light with others and can increase their trust, helping you build relationships.
Despite what you see on TV shows filled with schemers and backstabbers, professional courtesy and civility still matter a lot. But because so many people only focus on themselves and are too busy to think of anything else, you will stand out from the crowd by recognizing and praising others. Being able to celebrate someone else’s win shows your confidence, and demonstrates that you’re not playing a zero-sum win/lose game.
The person you acknowledge will appreciate your praise. Your recognition will make them feel good about themselves, and they will like you more because of it. In fact, when you recognize other people’s accomplishments, they are more likely to recognize and acknowledge your wins. You’ve set an example, and you’ve also made it clear that you aren’t trying to always have the spotlight on you.
Praise, recognition and appreciation set the wheels of the universe in motion to return positive things to you. What goes around comes around—in good ways as well as negative things. How you treat people has an effect on them and on how they respond to you. You have everything to gain by being generous with your praise and nothing to lose, because it creates a win/win situation.
You look confident and secure when you congratulate someone else because you aren’t trying to put others down to raise yourself up. You are creating a space in which someone else’s success doesn’t threaten or detract from your own success. Maybe this is in line with your company’s culture, and maybe it stands out if you work for a shark tank, but do it anyway. Follow your own standards even if others don’t and treat others as you would like to be treated.
When you praise people, do it without an agenda or expectations. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a response or acknowledgement. It’s nice when that happens, but it shouldn’t be why you congratulate others. Recognizing and appreciating other people makes you feel good about yourself and in your personal sphere of influence, it creates an atmosphere of positivity.
One person may not be able to change an entire corporate culture from the bottom up, but you can make a significant impact on the climate of your workgroup. Give praise a try and see what happens!