Category Archives: business communications

Reverberations of Praise

Praise has a way of reverberating off any sentient being it touches:  family, friends, employees, colleagues, clients, employers, networks, pets, the guy at the store where you get your coffee.

We don’t always get to see the after effects of our praise. But when you get praised, how does it feel?  Good, right?  Who doesn’t like to feel good?  This feeling is one that is easily spread to someone else, doubling, quadrupling your one praise.

Even if they don’t pay it forward, their improved mood will increase efficiency and enjoyment. Who doesn’t work better after someone compliments them?  Who doesn’t want to give more to a boss who appreciates them?  From well-placed praise comes more attention to detail and care given. Who wouldn’t want employees or colleagues who worked more like that?

Praise can take different forms.  Compliments is another way to think of it   Appreciation is praise for a specific act.  Encouragement is offering praise for a future action.  It says I believe you can do this thing.  You have what it takes. Don’t we all feel better if we’re acknowledged and believed in?

The reverberations go the other way too. How good does it feel to say something kind to someone and receive those good feelings shining back at you?  Even better to do it in person so you can see it.  Doesn’t a well-received compliment make you want to give more? This creates a new dimension for the praise reverberations to travel.

Praise and its sisters are long-lasting, too. Like chimes, their ringing lingers in the air.  If your praise is very specific and honest, coming from the right person, the receiver can cruise on it for quite some time.

Perhaps long after work, at home that night, its effects can be felt. You never know how far a good word can travel through a teenager onto the Internet. Days later, when the going gets rough, simple words of praise can come back and offer a boost.

It’s an easy thing to do in social media, too.  LinkedIn lets you congratulate people.  My suggestion is to give a little more than the standard, “Congrats!”  Take another minute or two to add a little praise or encouragement. Show that you really do acknowledge what they’ve done, specifically, and from the heart. Not just using a quick ploy to reach out.

When you read a colleague has done something special, send a quick email.  You know this person, you don’t have to go into too much detail. Just let them know you’re listening and you appreciate what they’re doing. Doesn’t take long at all.  So simple and yet it carries such profound effects.

Putting good energy into the world always has multiplying reverberating effects.

Networking Pledge: I commit to praising at least 3 people this week.

* I am taking every opportunity I can to praise those around me every day.

* In searching for something to praise, I am always coming up with wonderful things!

* I’m a praise-making machine and I’m making a lot today!  –Chellie Campbell

Stay tuned for the next Positive Slant On Business Profile about a spiritual entrepreneur who’s giving his authentic self to everything he does!



Spreading Love Through Business

Many would balk at even the notion of love in business.  Love is for the bedroom, not the boardroom.  Much like church and state do not belong together.

I disagree.  I believe that love is an essential ingredient in business.  If you don’t “love” your customers in some way, you may find yourself with none. The language of love may be different in business, but it is still all about love.

Praise and encouragement are ways to show your love. Laid lavishly on employees, they can be worth more than gold.  People will feed a long time on well-placed encouraging words.

Appreciation is a powerful and loving business word. Appreciation, given genuinely and consistently can actually put money in your pocket.  I doubt there are statistics on this, but it seems evident to me.  If someone appreciates my business, I am more likely to come back to them (or send others their way).  Gratitude always works magic.  No matter where you use it.

Love means paying attention to the details of your beloved’s life. Love in business can be remembering to ask about a sick loved one or acknowledging a spouse’s promotion. Wishing happy birthday, offering congratulations, sending regards are wonderful and loving ways to show how you do business.  There is nothing unbusinesslike about caring about the people you work with or for.

When you love someone, you respect them.  Isn’t it wise to treat business associates with respect?  Look for the good in them.  Notice and point out talents you see.  What a wonderful way to help those qualities grow!  If that’s not love, I’m not sure what is.

Offer honest feedback as you would to someone you love, with an awareness of their feelings.  And an eye for propriety.  You wouldn’t want to chew out your child in front of  others.  Why would you speak to one of your employees like that?  Your opinion is important – especially if you’re the boss.  But in the end, the customer is the real boss.  Show respect for everyone you do business with.

What if you said you didn’t have to love the delivery person who brings your sandwich?  After all, what has he got to do with business success?  What goes around comes around.  You never know where this person may end up in your life.  He could be the son of the client you’ve been wanting to land a contract with. Treat everyone with love and respect and watch your goodwill blossom, along with your bottom line.

Chellie Campbell, in her landmark book, The Wealthy Spirit said this about love in business, “Take time to understand the human being behind the transaction, the spiritual being behind the contract. The goal of business doesn’t have to be just more profit.  The possibilities are bigger than that.  Business can spread light, love and peace in the world.”


Asking for It

I’ve been told a lot lately to “ask for the business.”  I guess a lot of us have trouble doing that.  But it makes sense to ask for what you want.  How are others going to know if you don’t ask for it?

In Business, as well as in writing and in life asking questions opens new pathways. Asking for work is just one place.

Ask vendors for special terms. Either they’ll say no, they can’t do that. Or they’ll say, yes, we’d be happy to!  But you never know until you ask.

To improve your business, ask questions. If you’re struggling somewhere, ask for help.  There are so many organizations, just through the Small Business Administration. I love the Small Business Development Center.  Asking questions helps to find solutions.  In some cases, that could mean asking your significant other for more time to work on your business.

Ask your customers what they would like to see you do.  Danny Inny at Firepole Marketing, suggests that you go to your audience or customers first, before you make any moves at all. They are your biggest fans, after all.  See what they think.

Employees can be a wealth of information, if you but ask them. Pointed questions can reveal vital data on how to keep this crucial asset in good working order. If you have a management staff, ask them lots of questions, too.  All the time.  Keep finding out more about what’s going on by continuing to ask questions like How can I make this better?  How can I improve my service?  As you do this, answers will come, ideas will sprout.

Don’t forget the powerful question: How can this be done?  If you choose, instead to say, “It can’t be done,” you’ll get nowhere.  How much more exciting it is to ask how!

Can you think of other places where it would be helpful to ask?  Please leave a comment with your suggestions.


I read an post recently about how some businesses use fear to motivate employees. As the piece states, it can only go so far. What a lousy way to do business!

Praise works so much better.  Don’t we want people we work with to feel good, motivated and appreciated?  Appreciation appreciates.

See what you can do for employees, colleagues, customers or connections when you praise them.  Isn’t that what we all want?

If we are to do business with soul and heart, we must keep this in mind.  Encouragement, acknowledgment, and congratulation all help to strengthen others.  What a small effort for such a great return!  Use every opportunity you can to offer good words to others.

I like that LinkedIn offers us opportunities to do this. (Though I have found it’s not always correct.)  There are tons of great ideas on the Internet for how you can praise and appreciate your business associates.  Try one soon.

Stay tuned next week for a Positive Slant Profile on Diane Lemonides of Verve Marketing and Design, threading family values into her work.

Speaking Up for Good Service

Everyone’s got a story or two to tell. That really awful customer services experience when you got screwed every which way but up. We are often inspired to write to someone or complain to the manager.  Certainly, we will tell everyone we know.  It’s too strong to stay bottled up inside.

But what if we were that vocal about good experiences?  When was the last time you got fired up because a sales person listened to you and went out of their way to help you with your purchase?  We don’t, for some reason, feel so motivated to share these stories. Maybe it’s because the majority of the experiences we have are bad ones.

What if we did what we could to tell these stories more often? Things might change.  Next time someone gives you good service, speak up. (You’re likely to surprise them!) Tell them how much you appreciated it.  Notify their superior.  Tip a little more for exceptional service.  Write the letter of praise before the complaint.  See how good it feels for everyone!

Networking Pledge:  I pledge to compliment two people this week.

I am always saying “Well Done” to everyone around me!

I am finding more and more reasons to offer praise.

As I appreciate others more, I am feeling more appreciated.

3 Simple Steps to Writing Cover Letters

Cover letters are so important these days, whatever you’re doing.  Writing a good letter is essential in this world of too much information.

You want your cover letter to say what you want to say quickly and clearly.  Tell your reader what you want them to give their valuable time to.  And try not to take too much time in doing that.

So, a simple formula:

1.  State Your Connection.  Right up front, in a sentence or two, remind the person how they know you, refer to some recent interaction or open on a friendly note with someone you know well.

2.  Make Your Pitch.  The heart of the letter is your sales pitch.  Your :30 commercial is a perfect thing to put here.  Can you quickly tell them the benefits, why it is worth their time to listen to you?  Keep this to a paragraph or less.

3.  Call to Action.  All business letters should end with this. What is it you want them to do?  Call you?  Go here?  Do that?  Make sure this is clear. There’s no cause to be flowery here. Just spill it out.

One last thing: Be sure your signature line makes it easy for them to contact you.

Networking Pledge
Networking is all about relationships. Connecting person to person.  Danny Inny of Firepole Marketing suggests that to get business in a hurry, you should go to every networking meeting you can and ask others about themselves and what they do.  Listen and learn.  Eventually, they will ask what you do.

Find one person, every day, that you can give something to: a piece of information, a hand, a smile, a response to something they’ve been waiting for, or just a bit of encouragement or appreciation.  How wonderful that can be in the middle of a hectic day!

If you reach out and give, you will get back.
“I pledge to reach out to at least one person every day with something I can give.”

I am easily seeing what’s needed that I can give!
    I am giving of myself every day.
       My connections are enriching both of us!