Dr Jane McNicholas, creator of our Transforming Habits series, told us about some of her own habits and gives us a few tips on how to make lasting, effective changes.
We all know that receiving praise is a wonderful thing: you feel good about yourself when someone praises you for all of your hard work, especially in the workplace.
It doesn’t usually matter where praise comes from – whether it is from a colleague, manager or team member – it still puts a spring in your step. However, after showing our gratitude we don’t often think about the impact that giving praise actually has on the giver (I am not alluding to reciprocation here as the majority of us naturally have a tendency to reciprocate acts of kindness).
Recent academic research has shown that those givers of kindness and praise also reap the rewards of these actions. Employees from a beverage company in Madrid took part in a study to investigate the ripple effects of kindness. A group of designated kindness givers were asked to be kind to specific individuals: the receiver group. A control group was also present to isolate the effects of the intervention.
The results show that both intervention groups had increased feelings of autonomy, and self-belief – during the intervention and the givers specifically also felt more competent. But the kicker is in the results (collected a month after the interventions) the givers were still benefiting. A month after they had been kind to others the group of givers showed more life, and job satisfaction as well as fewer symptoms of depression. Receivers reported higher happiness in the follow-up but nothing else.
So it appears that although receivers and givers share the short-term benefits of kindness, it is the givers that enjoy the most long-term benefits of kind actions.
With this in mind, we are happy to announce the addition of the Praise functionality on Unmind. It paves the way to higher satisfaction and contentment – single out a colleague, or group of colleagues for your thanks, and bring on the warm-and-fuzzies.
So, what are you waiting for? Make someone’s day, and give yourself a boost of happiness too.
Chancellor, J., Margolis, S., Jacobs Bao, K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2017). Everyday Prosociality in the Workplace: The Reinforcing Benefits of Giving, Getting, and Glimpsing. Emotion. Advance online publication.
Jonny Benjamin was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at the age of 20 and he is now an influential activist and mental health...