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Brene Bowne is an American professor, qualitative researcher, speaker and author of many books and her work includes ‘Daring Greatly’.  She has spent the last two decades researching vulnerability, courage and empathy. One of Brene’s qualitative studies, with over 1,300 participants, suggests that being vulnerable in both the workplace and in relationships can be an advantage.  A series of studies was also carried out by Erica Boothy and Vanessa Bohns, first published in August 2020, highlighting that people often underestimate the positive impact of giving compliments. Meanwhile, Stephanie Harrison, has spent the last ten years looking into happiness, and similarly suggests ‘verbal acts of kindness’ go a long way in uplifting others. Harrison explains that simple phrases like “I’m proud of you” are often reserved for significant occasions such as academic achievements, but suggests expressions such as these can be used in other situations too, for example, when someone is trying a new hobby, or speaking honestly. Giving confidence and promoting self-efficacy in others, she adds, can be done with words like “you can do this” and by reminding others of past accomplishments. She goes on to explain that using phases such as “I am grateful for you” are important. More information on positive words and phrases can be found here.

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