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When Last Did You Tell Someone “Well Done”?

There is something I realised not too long ago and I keep thinking about why it happens that way. Why is it that people are quick to judge and criticise things but they are slow to offer compliments for a job well done? There is so much negativity in our world today and it’s quite alarming.

I’ve never been one to be moved by affirming words or compliments. My dad taught me to be confident and self-motivated. That notwithstanding, I always find it weird when someone comes to complain about something I did but that same person never says well done for this or that. This was one of the main issues I had with my mum when I was growing up. It did not matter how many times you woke up early to clean the house on a Saturday morning or how many times you were an obedient daughter, the minute you forget to clean the table one morning, be prepared for the tongue-lashing of your life. I used to listen to her shout and I’d say to myself, “Just this one time I forgot to clean the table. How about all the days I diligently cleaned the whole house?” My mum was not interested in all that.

As I grew up I saw parents complain when their brilliant child brings home a ‘C’ grade but they don’t commend that same child when they get an ‘A’. I have seen adults magnify a simple mistake or error made by someone while they forget all the good the person has done in the past. In that moment, that person is defined by that mistake. Let’s forget the fact that no one is perfect and we will all make mistakes. No it doesn’t count. You make one mistake and that’s it. Over and over again, I have watched this trend go on and I keep wondering, “When will it stop?”

One thing that I love doing a lot is to give compliments. I cannot count how many compliments I give a day even to random people. I believe in making people feel good. I believe in building people up and being a reason why they smile. Even when I need to criticise someone’s work, I place the criticism between two huge loaves of praise. It always works. I pass my message across and the person receiving the feedback feels good about himself. Sometimes, I even lead the person to think in the direction of the criticism I am about to give so they say it before I land and it looks like it comes from them. And do you know what else I do? I praise people for a job well done as they do it. I don’t wait until something goes bad before I give a comment about their work. I look out for ways to appreciate and give people positive feedback every day.

Value the work that people do. Don’t be the person who criticises every time. “Oh that newscaster wears too much make up.” “Oh that chef’s main course is always salty.” Have you complimented the newscaster for the impeccable English that she speaks? Have you told the chef that he makes the best desserts in town? You don’t have to wait for people to mess up or fail before you talk about their work. Say “well done” periodically. Appreciate them when they do things right and don’t leave them to roast in the sun when they get things wrong. Making mistakes is a normal part of life.



About the Writer: Adedoyin Jaiyesimi is a Writer, Media Content Creator and Brand Manager. The various publications she has written for include Y! Magazine (now Y! Africa), Discovery, Pride Magazine Nigeria, Butterscotch magazine amongst others. She currently holds the position of Brand Communications Manager at Victor Adeyemi Ministries and she is also the founder of LRouge Media, an editorial and brand consultancy company which provides content writing and editing services for business websites, magazines and blogs. When she is not creating content, you can find her in church doing the work of her Father. She tweets @msdoyeen and blogs at


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