In Praise of Praise

RJs Licorice Log I love black licorice and I’m not going to apologize. I really love it. And here, in Wellington, New Zealand, I wandered into a store and bought some from R.J.’s Licorice. It was delicious. It was quite soft, quite flavorful, and the portion was just right for me, a licorice lover.

I love the opportunity to praise things. I love being a fan of things. I loved hanging out with GM and driving a Cadillac CTS. I love experiencing things, and then I love talking about them. I love raving.

I flew first class on Air New Zealand, because I said something friendly to a flight attendant after having to run through the airport (literally run) to catch the flight. She gave me a ticket into the BEST flight experience I’ve ever had.

I’ve already told about a thousand folks. Now I’m telling another 20,000 via RSS, and however many more through the front door of my website.

Praise is powerful.

Giving someone something doesn’t elicit praise. Praise comes from an experience that causes positive emotions, and that’s a tricky thing that matters. It’s hard to do the right things to elicit praise, but then again, that’s the deal. You can’t seek praise. You can only tend the farm and make the best damned tomatoes you can make.

Finally, I won’t apologize for the fact that I love to love things. It’s how I’m wired. I’m built to praise. You want the sour patch kids? I can point out their blogs, but I bet you know their names.

I’m over here praising.

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  • http://lenalindstrom.blogspot.com Lena

    Yes NZ lic is nice, but how about Swedish :) Saltier! MM.

  • http://therealestatemarketingmaven.com Peter Fletcher

    What an inspiring post Chris. In exchange for praise you fly first class. It just goes to show the power of reciprocity and genuine thankfulness.

  • http://therealestatemarketingmaven.com Peter Fletcher

    What an inspiring post Chris. In exchange for praise you fly first class. It just goes to show the power of reciprocity and genuine thankfulness.

  • http://akilakalum.blogspot.com Akila

    This one is really GREAT! Nice topic too.
    Regards.

  • http://akilakalum.blogspot.com Akila

    This one is really GREAT! Nice topic too.
    Regards.

  • http://www.greenbuildinglawupdate.com Chris Cheatham

    Great post Chris. I have been meaning to praise Best Buy. I am truly, truly impressed with their customer service. I had a late payment recently due to a family funeral. The late payment caused all sorts of deferred interest to accrue. I called and explained the situation – and they waived the interest!

    I seriously would never have guessed that a big store like Best Buy would do something like that. Best Buy has definitely earned my business in the future – in fact, I think I will go buy something there this weekend to thank them.

    Thanks Best Buy!

  • http://www.greenbuildinglawupdate.com Chris Cheatham

    Great post Chris. I have been meaning to praise Best Buy. I am truly, truly impressed with their customer service. I had a late payment recently due to a family funeral. The late payment caused all sorts of deferred interest to accrue. I called and explained the situation – and they waived the interest!

    I seriously would never have guessed that a big store like Best Buy would do something like that. Best Buy has definitely earned my business in the future – in fact, I think I will go buy something there this weekend to thank them.

    Thanks Best Buy!

  • Kat Jaibur

    Chris, what a great post! You know I am 100% on board with praise.
    And enthusiasm. When you are excited about someone or something, share it! We all thrive on appreciation, and it reinforces our desire to be our best.
    Praise is appreciation made public. I truly believe that the good you put out returns to you multiplied. Thanks for being the big giver that you are! @katjaib

  • Kat Jaibur

    Chris, what a great post! You know I am 100% on board with praise.
    And enthusiasm. When you are excited about someone or something, share it! We all thrive on appreciation, and it reinforces our desire to be our best.
    Praise is appreciation made public. I truly believe that the good you put out returns to you multiplied. Thanks for being the big giver that you are! @katjaib

  • http://www.theconferencepublishers.com Woody Huizenga

    I wrote a blog item with the same title last summer. http://theconferencepublishers.com/blog/meeting-professionals-international/in-praise-of-praise/
    My focus was much more on recognizing the efforts and contributions of our employees, but I can’t think of a good reason not to praise widely and freely.
    And if you’re looking for a brief but well-argued case for generosity, I suggest you pick up “Love is the Killer App,” by Tim Sanders.

  • http://www.theconferencepublishers.com Woody Huizenga

    I wrote a blog item with the same title last summer. http://theconferencepublishers.com/blog/meeting-professionals-international/in-praise-of-praise/
    My focus was much more on recognizing the efforts and contributions of our employees, but I can’t think of a good reason not to praise widely and freely.
    And if you’re looking for a brief but well-argued case for generosity, I suggest you pick up “Love is the Killer App,” by Tim Sanders.

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  • http://tv.factor77.com Jared O’Toole

    Praise is a great thing. It can be hard to get but when you do it really makes you feel like you are doing something right. Everybody loves that.

  • http://tv.factor77.com Jared O’Toole

    Praise is a great thing. It can be hard to get but when you do it really makes you feel like you are doing something right. Everybody loves that.

  • http://www.budgetpulse.com Craig

    Nothing beats some excellent Good and Plenty candy.

  • http://www.budgetpulse.com Craig

    Nothing beats some excellent Good and Plenty candy.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    We can do a little more than “just tend the farm”. We can grow what we know people like. We can put the crops out on a table on main street. We can give the mayor free lettuce. I mean I completely agree, praise goes to those that provide valuable experiences, but just a good product doesn’t always get you there.

    Sometimes you have to make the barrier as low as possible for potential customers to have a good experience and provide them with the tools they need to share. Enable them. Without pushing them too hard. Its a balance as with anything.

    Black licorice is evil.

  • http://jasonkeath.com Jason Keath

    We can do a little more than “just tend the farm”. We can grow what we know people like. We can put the crops out on a table on main street. We can give the mayor free lettuce. I mean I completely agree, praise goes to those that provide valuable experiences, but just a good product doesn’t always get you there.

    Sometimes you have to make the barrier as low as possible for potential customers to have a good experience and provide them with the tools they need to share. Enable them. Without pushing them too hard. Its a balance as with anything.

    Black licorice is evil.

  • Anne

    Wow! Your post really resonated w/ me today… So needed for me at this time in my life!

    I am reading a book called “Positivity” by B. Frederickson ( for review see http://www.joyfuljubilantlearning.com/joyful_jubilant_learning/2009/04/guided-by-positivity.html). She recommends making a portfolio of sayings, pictures, objects, etc of things that uplift you…this post is definitely going in the “Inspiration” folder!

  • Anne

    Wow! Your post really resonated w/ me today… So needed for me at this time in my life!

    I am reading a book called “Positivity” by B. Frederickson ( for review see http://www.joyfuljubilantlearning.com/joyful_jubilant_learning/2009/04/guided-by-positivity.html). She recommends making a portfolio of sayings, pictures, objects, etc of things that uplift you…this post is definitely going in the “Inspiration” folder!

  • http://twitter.com/zaneology Zane Aveton

    YOU ARE AWESOME!

  • http://twitter.com/zaneology Zane Aveton

    YOU ARE AWESOME!

  • http://newbielifeline.com Sheila Atwood

    Praise is a form of admiration…which seems to have a magical formula for opening up communication lines.

    Sheila

  • http://newbielifeline.com Sheila Atwood

    Praise is a form of admiration…which seems to have a magical formula for opening up communication lines.

    Sheila

  • http://theoysterproject.blogspot.com/ Daniel Oyston

    Chris – grab some licorice and wash it down with an ice cold Guinness …. heaven

  • http://theoysterproject.blogspot.com/ Daniel Oyston

    Chris – grab some licorice and wash it down with an ice cold Guinness …. heaven

  • Paula

    Love the comments about praise and have enjoyed reading your positive comments about various experiences and products. In praise of your blog, you have useful, helpful content that is easy to quicly pick up and presented with a nice tone (not condescending or preachy). Great stuff; I have recommended your blog to numerous people and praised it hightly.

  • Paula

    Love the comments about praise and have enjoyed reading your positive comments about various experiences and products. In praise of your blog, you have useful, helpful content that is easy to quicly pick up and presented with a nice tone (not condescending or preachy). Great stuff; I have recommended your blog to numerous people and praised it hightly.

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  • http://twitter.com/scottmillion Twitter@Million

    Nice Chris, I love your lines there about praise. Its really sends positive feeling and that is all what we need sometimes.

  • http://twitter.com/scottmillion Twitter@Million

    Nice Chris, I love your lines there about praise. Its really sends positive feeling and that is all what we need sometimes.

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  • http://www.riccineer.com Ricci Neer

    You can officially celebrate your love for licorice every year – April 12 is National Licorice Day (USA)!

  • http://www.riccineer.com Ricci Neer

    You can officially celebrate your love for licorice every year – April 12 is National Licorice Day (USA)!

  • http://www.a-zSAT.com Clair Hinckley

    I like to tell parents and teachers: catch your teens doing something good. Kids hear too much criticism and negativity. My latest campaign is to spot schools doing something good. In this economic downturn, school budgets are getting cut, teachers are worried about being laid off, and all of this fear and anxiety transmits itself to the students. If schools have to cut back, then people outside the schools have to step up and find ways to support great educators through praise for intelligent and benevolent actions and through contributions of time and/or money. My kid is 40, but my involvement with schools will never be over.

  • http://www.a-zSAT.com Clair Hinckley

    I like to tell parents and teachers: catch your teens doing something good. Kids hear too much criticism and negativity. My latest campaign is to spot schools doing something good. In this economic downturn, school budgets are getting cut, teachers are worried about being laid off, and all of this fear and anxiety transmits itself to the students. If schools have to cut back, then people outside the schools have to step up and find ways to support great educators through praise for intelligent and benevolent actions and through contributions of time and/or money. My kid is 40, but my involvement with schools will never be over.

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