Positive Appreciation, Affirmation and Praise

Positive Appreciation, Affirmation and Praise


In this activity, a group of people get to acknowledge each other’s actions and appreciate the impact of such actions on their own lives. People tend to avoid praising despite the fact that it is incredibly motivating. In addition, people also tend to shrug off praise as a way of being humble or they may feel they need to be polite rather than boasting about their actions. Both of these lead to a missed opportunity on boosting a person’s self-esteem. This activity provides an opportunity to do this systematically and in a safe environment.

It is ideal for a team of people who have been working together, know each other well and have gone through shared experiences so they can comment on each other’s actions.


Praise and be praised for your actions.

What You Need

  • Papers


  • Get the delegates to form a circle.
  • Provide a sheet of paper to each delegate.
  • Explain that each delegate should think about the person to their left and write an analysis on their papers based on the following. This is an opportunity for them to think about this person. Later on, they will be delivering it in words to this person.
    • Positive affirmation. This should be in the form of a positive observation about the actions of the person to the left of them.
    • Appreciation. This is an appreciation on the impact of actions of this person on them as a result of those actions. The focus should be on results of such actions. This appreciation could be related to the same actions considered in positive affirmation or it could be new ones.
  • Allocate 10 minutes for this part.
  • Ask a volunteer to start the exercise.
  • Ask the volunteer to turn to the person on the left and deliver a positive affirmation. The volunteer should not read from paper and instead should simply deliver the praise from heart.
  • The person who has been praised should gracefully accept the compliment. The compliment should not be undercut, dismissed or shrugged.
  • Ask the volunteer to deliver an appreciation.
  • Again, the person who has been praised should gracefully accept it.
  • The exercise should then continue to the person to the left who was getting praised and repeated until everyone has praised and received praise.
  • Optionally, if you have time, you can go through the exercise again in the opposite direction.
  • Follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: 10 min preparation + (5 min * n) = 40 minutes for 6 delegates

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


How do you feel now that you have expressed your feelings about others? How do you feel about yourself now that you have been praised? Were you surprised on what people praised you on? What does this suggest?

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