The Devil Wears Prada? The Power of Recognition

04 Dec The Devil Wears Prada? The Power of Recognition

Have you seen the movie ‘The Devil wears Prada’?  It is about a successful woman who treats her staff like slaves, insulting their work and their efforts on every occasion.  For some reason, her employees continue to work for her, putting up with her demeaning remarks, because she holds a powerful position in the fashion industry.

The movie is meant to be funny, but with a huge apology to Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, I never really saw the humour.  Why is it fun to watch a bully take advantage of good people, simply because they can?  Even worse is the statement that the Devil makes on successful women in the fashion/beauty industry. Whilst there are definitely some devils, I have met countless wonderful, successful women in the industry.

Here is the real funny part: These type of leaders (men & women) are doing far more damage than good for their companies.  Because they are failing to recognise the most powerful motivational tools available to the modern business world:

The power of recognition

The need to be valued is a basic human desire, and yet it is often overlooked in the workplace. Everyone needs to hear that they are appreciated at work. And almost everyone becomes even more driven when they do feel valued.  I truly believe that people who feel good and believe in their skills will outperform anyone who is in constant doubt of their work.

In one of my recent training courses, I encouraged a woman to stand up in front of a crowd and speak for the very first time.  When she was done, the class went wild with encouragement and praise.  Words like ‘Incredible’ ‘Impressive’ ‘Inspirational’ were feedback to her.  It was because of their reinforcement that she continued to get better at a skill that had once petrified her.  Imagine if the opposite had happened….If after she spoke, no one said a word, or even worse, she was insulted?  She would most likely never try again, wasting an opportunity for her voice to be heard.

The Devils days are numbered. We need to encourage each other with honest sincerity. We must do this as bosses to keep our staff energised and productive.  We must do this as mothers to help our children become strong and well adjusted. We do this as human beings because the world is full of different types of people, all of whom can add value to the world in different ways.

It is time for the Devil to remove her Prada, and wear the old, dirty rags that she deserve.

Thank you for reading,