The expression of a “job well done” has always been a bit awkward for me – both on the giving or receiving side.
As I see it, “doing well” should have merit in itself and something we should all strive for – so that it is really a baseline rather than a true accomplishment. As a consequence, I would suggest the expression of a “job well done” could…
- Be redundant to satisfaction already experienced by the receiver who is actually “doing well”.
- Be perceived as an insincere statement that is more harmful than helpful to the relationship between the giver and receiver of the compliment.
Instead, I would suggest that we all need to dig deeper. This takes time and insight, but is well worth the effort. Consider transforming “job well done” into:
- Telling the person how you feel about what they have done. Did it make you happy? Ease your stress? Give you confidence?
- Expressing gratitude for their actions. Never underestimate the value of saying thank you sincerely.
- Acknowledging the effort that it took for them achieve. Achievements are usually the result of going above and beyond – that’s hard work and worth noting!
- Offering your support. How can you help this person go further? True collaboration is a gift.
I therefore call for the immediate death of a “job well done” and would invite a deeper level of insight in its place. The sharing of such insight will in turn meaningfully strengthen and build confidence the person receiving the message.