Explore the different ways to tell someone you’re proud of their accomplishments, as shared by experts.
Here are a few examples:
Table of Contents
- “That was hard work, but you did it!”
- “I’m really proud of what you’ve accomplished. I saw the amount of effort you put into it.”
- Utilize the PREP technique
- Give behavior-specific praise
- How to tell children and teens you are proud of them
- How to tell your friends and your partner you are proud of them
- Showing is better than saying
- Make them feel valued multiple times
CEO and Lead Therapist, Naya Clinics
“That was hard work, but you did it!”
Sending positive reaffirmation to others helps one feel fulfilled and whole, as it promotes personal development and growth. The key to letting someone know you are proud of them is by intentionally making them aware of your feelings about their win.
- The phrase “You did an amazing job!” is used when you want downright to offer someone a confidence booster.
- The phrase “That was hard work, but you did it!” gives reinforced emphasis on the person’s efforts and allows his/her specific actions to be recognized.
- The phrase “Congratulations on your hard work’s payoff!” allows you to show someone your joy from their win while pointing out their efforts.
In the end, letting someone know you’re proud of them doesn’t require you to say “I’m proud of you.”
The only important thing is that you relayed a message of pride for their accomplishments no matter what words by ensuring that you celebrate for them by showing enthusiasm and joy through your tone and body language.
It’s also crucial to make sure that you re-affirm each accomplishment and seek only for their positive actions because the more we search for something wonderful, the more likely we’ll find it.
Executive Coach, Fingerprint for Success
“I’m really proud of what you’ve accomplished. I saw the amount of effort you put into it.”
Communication occurs through multiple different channels, and people often learn to pay attention to one or two styles and channels over the others. That means that the message we send in our communication is not necessarily received in the way that we intend it.
By using the different channels and adapting our style to meet the preference of the person we’re communicating with, we increase the chances of the message being fully received.
Here are the four main channels:
- In the words that we use – Acknowledging the person, foregrounding their accomplishment, and celebrating their talent and uniqueness through language, so they feel understood.
- In how we are saying it – To some, how we say things and how they sound matter more than the words being spoken. Communicating in a resonant tone, pitch, and volume with an emphasis on certain words can be like music to the ears.
- In how we look – Visually, communicating through our eye contact, facial expressions, and open body language helps a person to feel seen.
- Finally, from the state we’re communicating from – Being in an open, genuine, and authentic state when telling a person that you’re proud of their accomplishments can really help them receive the praise because it feels congruent and heartfelt.
“John, I’m really proud of what you’ve accomplished. I saw the amount of effort you put into it, and I heard moments of frustration when it got difficult. But you preserved, and it shows how determined you are when you put your mind to something. High Five!”
When you communicate across these channels in a congruent way, it helps the person feel seen, heard, understood, and valued when you’re telling them you’re proud of their accomplishments.
Michelle Lachman, M.S., CCC-SLP
Masters in Speech Therapy | Founder and Clinical Director, BetterSpeech
Utilize the PREP technique
Telling someone that you’re proud of their accomplishments simply shows that you care and that you acknowledge their achievements. The best way to do this is by being straightforward, and to make it sound professional and well thought of, we need to use the PREP technique.
So what is PREP?
By definition, PREP is an acrostic that stands for Point, Reasons, Example, and Point. Here’s an example of how to use PREP to tell someone that you’re proud of their accomplishments:
- P (POINT) – “I’m proud of your accomplishments..”
- R (Reason) – “..because I saw how hardworking and dedicated you are to your craft.”
- E (Example) – “I saw one of your products, and the details and effort you put into your work are second to none.”
- P (back to POINT) – “..and that’s why I’m proud of your accomplishments. Keep it up!”
As a Speech Therapist, we value communication, and by doing these steps, you’re not just communicating properly; you’re also building a relationship, and it is one of the most beautiful things to do in this world.
Senior Director of Human Resources, LiveCareer
Give behavior-specific praise
Our bosses, coaches, or teachers are often aware that they should tell us when we accomplish something important. Expressing satisfaction with our performance makes us feel valued and positively impacts our motivation.
However, simply saying “good job” is not enough. As a leader or mentor, your role is to show others what specific actions make you proud of their accomplishments.
As a hiring manager, I always try to be specific in my praise. I avoid giving general feedback but rather look at all the steps that my team members took to achieve a particular goal.
My objective is to focus on the process that an employee has gone through rather than the results. That way, I can give praise to others based on their effort rather than the final outcome.
For example, instead of saying, “I’m proud that you delivered your goals in the last quarter.”
I’d formulate my praise using these words:
“I’m proud that in the last quarter, you applied our new recruitment strategy and hired five new employees that turned out to be a great fit for our company culture.”
Giving behavior-specific praise has a positive impact on people’s performance and job satisfaction. It also strengthens the feedback culture in your organization as it encourages teams to openly share their opinions and give praise to their colleagues.
Psychotherapist | Founder, PsihoSensus
How to tell children and teens you are proud of them
It’s important to underline their accomplishment without exaggeration. Children build their self-esteem on their successfully completed actions, and your validation as a parent or significant adult can help spark their self-confidence.
Related: 19 Best Parenting Books
Say that you are proud of your children when they do something difficult, or they do it well. Acknowledging the process as an accomplishment is important as well.
- “You worked hard, and you passed the test! I am proud of you!”
- “You did very well helping dad with chores.”
- “This is the project you are working on? So far, you are doing a fantastic job!”
How to tell your friends and your partner you are proud of them
Oftentimes people do not say “I am proud of you” to their friends or their partner because it helps avoid an emotional charge. Showing your partner and your friends that you are proud of them can strengthen your relationship, show support and validation.
Give them this validation, especially when they share something important with you.
- “I enjoy seeing you overcome this difficulty! I know it was so important for you.”
- “You look so happy with your accomplishment! Good job!”
- “Congrats on the new job! I knew you could get it!”
Owner and Founder, Tate Law
Showing is better than saying
The best way to express appreciation is through actions and not words. So if someone does something worthy of praise, gift them something memorable.
For example, once my colleague put in extra hours to satisfy a tough client. The client was so happy and referred us to his friends. Just a few hours of extra work on her part helped the company grow a lot.
Instead of saying “thank you,” we threw a mini office party to celebrate her work ethic.
Make them feel valued multiple times
Most people express how proud they are and then never mention it again. It’s important to make people and their actions great examples of setting company culture.
I refer to my colleague’s action each and every time there is an opportunity. It has been set as the gold standard of working in my company. This motivates not just this person but many others to achieve more.
Telling someone you are proud of their accomplishments is a powerful thing that takes on different forms throughout our lives. It is often spoken in the words, “I am proud of you.” although sometimes it comes from the actions that follow.
As a child, acknowledging this pride typically comes from adults in our lives whom we trust, respect, or admire. Whether it be a teacher, coach, or most importantly, a parent, the words always positively impact.
The most important aspect of this impact is its lasting nature. Not just in the sense that you feel good for a while after hearing them, but far more significant is the ripple effect.
Once you’ve listened to the words uttered, you will do whatever you can to have their power infiltrate your ears. I always loved bringing home my latest drawing so it could be hung on the place of honor in mine and every household known as the fridge.
As one grows up, the form may change, but the power of the words or what they represent never diminishes.
During the teen years, many of us can be found going out of our way in practice and games, so our coaches will pat us on the back and say the magic words. Sporting events even provide a double-whammy as we can usually hear similar accolades from our parents when the game is over.
Changes in adulthood
Once we enter the working world, things take a different form. It isn’t always as straightforward as it is hearing the simple words of our youth.
Sometimes the kudos come from winning a sales award or being recognized with a plaque for excellent service. It’s even further complicated as things look a little different from the other side of the fence.
The leader can affect the productivity and general success of those they are responsible for by merely knowing which version of an acknowledgment of pride their people like to hear. As you look at the impact, you begin to understand the real value in the power of telling someone you are proud of them and their accomplishments.
This value is not a result of the words themselves but in what they represent to the recipient.
For some, they represent reaching a goal, inspiring others, or achieving a life-time dream. For others, they represent positivity, love, and hope for the future — all things that can be achieved with the proper motivation and inspiration.
Nothing says “I’m only saying this because I’m supposed to” quite like a generic, “Hey, good job. I’m proud of your accomplishment!” You’ve got to put some meat on them bones, or it comes off as insincere at best.
I recently expressed my appreciation for an employee who had really gone out of her way (late hours/weekends) to deliver for a customer. I told her how grateful I was for her commitment to “Client Care,” one of our company values, and then told her story to the rest of the team.
I also had a special gift delivered to her based on what I’d learned about her interests and hobbies. In her case, it was three Charlie’s Angels Barbie dolls to add to her collection. Needless to say, she was thrilled! (It takes all kinds, I guess.)
She came away with more than just a “prize.” She truly felt recognized and appreciated by her boss and peers, with or without the gift.
VP of People and Co-Founder, Zety
Acknowledging employees’ accomplishments is extremely important in building employee morale and, therefore, should become a part of every company culture.
“I would like to thank you for the invaluable contribution you make to our team. Your recent accomplishments, dedication, creativity, and open-mindedness contribute immensely to our team’s success.
I am glad to see that through achieving your goals, you constantly grow and develop in your role.
Thanks to you, we not only achieve professional success but are also brought closer together as a team. I can see that we trust each other more now. I am glad that you are part of our team.”
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