It’s cool to give praise

nighthawk309 —  March 28, 2013 — 1 Comment
Photo by Carroll DeWeese

Photo by Carroll DeWeese

Today I read to a classroom of 3rd graders to celebrate “March is National Reading Month.”  I signed up for the event to tell them about my time on the Appalachian Trail (they were learning about expeditions).  I am not embarrassed to say that I was a nervous mess leading up to it.  I have no problem talking to groups of people or being interviewed for television–but I had no idea what to expect with a classroom of elementary students.

My fears were quickly put to rest once I sat in the chair and started talking to them.  After a few pictures from my backpacking journey, they seemed genuinely interested in what I was sharing.  It was one student’s utterance that gave me the confidence to soar through my talk.  He quietly said, “cool.”  That was all I needed to get in my groove and make it all happen.

“Cool.”  Such a simple word but the weight it carried was just what I needed today.  It told me that what I was talking about was interesting.  It told me that what I was sharing mattered to them.  It told me they wanted to hear more.

The value of praise (even a single word) shouldn’t be overlooked at work.

See a colleague doing something right, give praise!  Like an “out there” idea someone suggests, give praise!  Packed room for a program, give praise!

Take a few seconds to acknowledge the people in our lives who are doing positive things and give them praise.  It’ll be good for them and it’ll be good for you.  Giving praise will make you more aware and grateful for those around you.  Receiving praise may be the reward or acknowledgement someone needs to carry on.



Matt Church is the library director at the Berkley Public Library (Berkley, MI). He was previously associate director at the Baldwin Public Library (Birmingham, MI). He's all about libraries, Tom Waits, coffee, trekking and family adventures.

One response to It’s cool to give praise


    Very nice article, Matt. I’m looking forward to more of your blogs. I can’t help remembering when you and Jessica first learned to “praise Rusty”.

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