What's this? Who needs tips on giving the good news? That's easy! Is it?
Just because you're giving good feedback doesn't mean you shouldn't take just as much time to prepare as you would if you were delivering constructive feedback. Make sure you plan an appropriate time and place, have sufficiently detailed examples and prepare your response to the recipient's reaction. Don't you want this to be as memorable as a corrective discussion?
Even though you may think it would be swell to gather anyone within earshot to hear this good news, not everyone is comfortable with public recognition. Think about the person you plan to commend and decide how and where to offer your feedback based upon his or her preferences.
If at all possible, provide your feedback face to face, rather than via technology. (A follow up email, putting your appreciation in writing is also appropriate.) Talking in person allows you to adjust you communication based upon the reactions you see and makes it easier to have a dialog.
Even though everyone likes to hear "good job," if you want to get the most bang for your feedback buck, you'll want to offer more. Explain, in detail, what made the job good in order to reinforce and motivate continued positive performance in those particular areas. Knowing you've noticed the details will inspire improved performance beyond the areas you've recognized, as well.
Unlikely as it seems, there can be obstacles to overcome when delivering positive feedback. The other person may be suspicious, expecting that you are buttering him or her up in preparation for bad news. Or, s/he may not be comfortable receiving compliments. Take your time, watch for cues, and adapt your delivery to the other's style and preferences, but don't abandon the process. Make certain your positive message is heard and your appreciation clear.
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