Roadblocks to Communication – Giving Praise

The 2nd roadblock that shuts down conversations is giving praise. This roadblock is illustrated with the story of Mary and Fred.


  • 0’00” Start
  • 0’10” Roadblocks to communication -giving praise.
  • 0’49” How does giving praise shut down conversation?
  • 1’10” How do I know this is the most appropriate response in this situation?
  • 1’25” Example – What you love about Mary.
  • 3’06” A different response to Mary.
  • 5’00” Praise is judgement, just like criticism, and takes away personal judgement.
  • 5’27” Fred makes it to the bathroom.
  • 6’38” A different response to Fred.
  • 7’15” Conversations open when we resist praising.
  • 8’00” People in care have lost so much control, however their own self evaluation is still under their control.
  • 8’49” Develop the awareness of when praise is appropriate.
  • 9’10” How to go back and fix praise.

Chapter 5, On Being Up Close and Personal with the Dying, in Essentials in Hospice Palliative Care, 2nd Edition, Katherine Murray, 2009.

Written and recorded by Elizabeth Causton
All Rights Reserved Life and Death Matters 2010