“Praise loudly, blame softly.”

Catherine the Great

When it comes to guiding your team, the methods you deploy can make or break their trust in your leadership. It’s a delicate dance, not unlike a gardener tending to his blooms. Every rose needs sunlight and rain, but too much of either can wilt the beauty.

Imagine criticism as the rain. It’s necessary, inevitable, but it’s best served in private. The drops may sting, but in the seclusion of one-on-one conversations, they nurture growth. It’s a private lesson, an intimate stage where mistakes transform into lessons, not public spectacles of humiliation. The result? A stronger stem, a more resilient team member who knows you’re there to help them weather the storm, not to expose their vulnerabilities.

Now, consider praise as sunlight. It’s warm, illuminating, best spread under the wide-open sky of the public arena. When you bask your team in words of appreciation, their morale skyrockets. They bloom, vibrant and brilliant under the spotlight of recognition. It turns the team into a vibrant bed of roses, their success on public display.

Remember, a prudent gardener knows when to use rain, and when to summon the sun. Criticize in private, praise in public. This ensures your team doesn’t just survive, but thrives, blooming together as one.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.