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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Praise

In Forge. More on Medium.

The case for words of kindness and encouragement that aren’t Tweeted, reply-all’d, or shouted out at the company party

Photo: Maki Nakamura/Getty Images

Public praise is such an important human tradition, there’s even a fancy word for it: panegyric. When Pericles praised the dead Athenians in Thucydides’ , that was a panegyric. Cardi B praising Bernie Sanders in a Tweet was also a panegyric. And when my friend Adam tagged my other friend in an Instagram story saying, “Great party! The baba ganoush was 100!” that, too, was a panegyric.

In fact, social media is littered with so many panegyrics, there’s an equally well-established ritual for executing it:

Praiser: “You’re so brave” or “Here for this” or simply “praise…


You don’t need to fish for compliments

A young man with a laptop sits on the floor in an office and gives a high-five to his dog
A young man with a laptop sits on the floor in an office and gives a high-five to his dog

The best praise I’ve ever received came a few jobs ago, when I was working for a boss I deeply admired. In my role as head of public relations, I had planned five big events for New Year’s Eve — three of which were smash hits, and two of which flopped. Big time. When the night was over, my boss told me, perhaps undeservedly, that I had executed the whole thing perfectly, regardless of the result.

That recognition meant the world to me. …

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