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When Praise Is Detrimental

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

By Lee Polevoi

It may seem as if praising a team member is always a good idea. What’s wrong with acknowledging a job well done, especially when research shows that appreciation from the boss ranks high in employee surveys?

But praise can be a delicate matter. If managers aren’t sensitive to what’s happen­ing in the workplace or are unaware of their own motives, praise can be seen as false or manipulative. This has a detrimental effect on team morale—the last thing you expect when your honest intention is to praise.

Managers should consider withholding praise in these situations:

When it’s insincere

Walking around the department and say­ing things like “attaboy” to everybody can lead team members to view your praise as just another item on your to-do list and not genuinely felt.

When it’s not specific

Praising someone without describing what you’re praising him or her for can demotivate, rather than energize. It sends the mes...(register to read more)

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