Effective praise can be given using these three methods:

  1. Defining your intention and providing praise. This involves being mindful of the consequences of your words.
  2. Instead of plain flattery, try to encourage them to move forward and take up further challenges. This also encourages them to keep learning.
  3. Focus the praise on their effort, not their ability. If the trait is not fixed, the person cannot be vain about it. By praising efforts, we are motivating them to push further and get out of their comfort zone.
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The Praise Paradox
  • Defining Praise requires two different components: What is being praised and the amount of praise.
  • Talent and abilities can be praised, and the degree of praise is based on the language used.
  • Inflated or exaggerated praise can backfire, lowering a young person’s motivation or self-worth when there are eventual setbacks.
  • It fosters a fixed mindset by adding pressure on the person(who is praised) to behave accordingly.
What To Do When No One Asks For Your Advice
  • Form an advice club - this is where a group of people help each other out by consulting with each other regularly for help. This not only helps forge friendships but also reap invaluable benefits.
  • Turn the advice-giving inside out when you're facing a situation. Ask yourself: What if my friend was struggling with the same situation I'm in, what advice would I give them? Taking this perspective can help us approach the same problem with a higher level of self-confidence and insight.

When someone comes to us for guidance and asks about what we should do in a certain situation, we give them honest advice and oftentimes, multiple choices to choose from. After we give out advice, we would then start feeling hypocritical we don't try it ourselves.

That is the Saying-Is-Believing Effect, wherein after we say something to someone else, we're more likely to believe it ourselves.

Too often we believe that whenever a person is having a hard time pushing through an obstacle we provide unsolicited advice. By doing so, we unconsciously make them feel that they are incapable or unreliable.

However, a study suggests that instead of offering unsolicited advice, we should instead encourage them to share their own wisdom to convey that they're intelligent, capable, and the kind of person who can succeed.


This is a person's confidence in their own abilities that they are able to control their own behaviors, motivation, and other social circumstances.

Many people struggle with handling insecurity and even goal strivers are plagued by it. Having a lack of self-efficacy denies us the pleasure of setting goals in the first place.

The words you use matter

Good communication skills are essential for fostering strong relationships with team members and being able to motivate people.

Some of the things we say can improve how we are perceived. For example, saying "sorry" too often and for the wrong reasons might hinder how confident you appear. Instead of saying "sorry for the delay," say "thanks for your patience."

If you tell someone to calm down, they will probably not calm down.

Instead, validate the person's feelings and assure them you understand. Saying, "I can see you are upset, and I want to help," will go further to calm them.

Some people will water down a compliment by saying, "It was nothing..." or "It could be better..."

These responses are dismissive of the person giving the compliment. Instead, thank the individual and add, " I'm glad you like it." When you're thanked, instead of just saying "you're welcome, add "I'm happy I was able to help you." It leaves a positive impression with the person.

A lot of speakers will say, "We're going to address this issue." However, it doesn't mean you're going to solve the problem or take action. Try words like solve, fight against, or reduce, which communicate action.

Other swaps to consider that are more decisive:

  • "Allowed" can be replaced with enabled or authorised.
  • Instead of "meeting" a goal, try accomplishing or exceeding.
  • "Reacting" can be substituted with responding or solving.
  • Rather than saying "I can't" when you're declining a request, try "here's what I can do for you." This way you'll set a boundary about what you're not willing or able to do and indicating a willingness to find a solution.
  • When you don't know something, instead of shrugging off the inquiry, say, "I'll find out for you."
  • When you start a request with "I hate to bother you..." you've assumed that you're creating a burden. Instead, assume it is not a problem and drop this from your language.
Why we use filler words like "um" and "uh"

A study found that one in every sixty words people speak is either um or uh. That means you are adding two or three of these 'fillers' per minute.

One idea on why we use fillers is that we can't immediately find the right word to say. But we could just as well stay silent. The real reason then is that going silent won't work.

You will always experience delays in free-flowing conversation because you won't always have the right words at hand.

In public speaking:

  • We get to decide and rehearse in advance what we are going to say. With good planning, we can be more fluent and avoid the need for fillers.
  • We don't have to let the other person know when it is their turn, making fillers less needed.
  • We are not engaged in a fast-paced back and forth of conversation. We can determine the temporal rhythm of our own speech.

In a conversation, we always have to deal with who has the floor. Cooperative rules of conversation require us to use signals that regulate the flow of dialogue. If you stay silent, the other person may think you finished your turn at talking.

A filler is a signal that accounts for your delay: "Please wait. I'm not done yet. Transmission will soon resume."

Consciously slowing down will give you more time to formulate what you are saying (and your audience more time to process it.) Slowing down will decrease the likelihood of cognitive pressures that lead to delays and, in turn, to ums and uhs.

Slowing down will also make you come across as more authoritative and relaxed.

We collect information from others' body language. We naturally feel that passionate people will be more animated and look more enthusiastic. When their gestures are bigger, we process that they must be really passionate about their topic.

This is mostly because body language is vital in helping to communicate our emotions and motivations.

Hand motions often reveal information that is absent from our talk. It might signal that a point is more important, or that the speaker is still trying to understand an idea.

According to a study published, children that use hand gestures early in life is likely to develop a strong vocabulary and other skills related to sentence structure and better storytelling.

A mismatch occurs when we signal something with our hands that is different from our words. It may be a sign that you're learning.

Adults are less likely to trust people who display a mismatch between speech and body language.

Hand gestures are healthy and normal

Hand gestures while talking are a powerful aspect of communication.

A study analyzing TED Talks found viral speakers used nearly twice as many hand gestures as the least popular speakers. People who "talk" with their hands tend to be seen as warm, agreeable and energetic. The less animated are viewed as logical, cold and analytical.

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