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19 Mar 2014

The 7 Praises that De-Motivate People the Most

Everyone knows the power of praises, but few people know that some praises actually demotivate people instead of uplifting them.  The following are the 7 most common instances of praises that de-motivate people:
  1. General Praises, like 'You're Great' and 'Well Done" if used in a general way will make the person feel that you're being sarcastic or flattering.  Imagine your staff worked hard for the exhibition and there were a few hiccups along the way, you need to be specific in your praise, like you appreciate the fact that they managed to clear backlogs.  General praises will just make them feel that you're just putting on a show. 
  2. Praises that Compare them to another person.  Everyone knows the de-motivating power of comparisons, especially when you compare the person you praised to another person that achieved much more than them. The person will feel more inferior with your comparison.  If you want to compare, compare their current improved performance with their past performance.  
  3. Conditional Praises, like 'I'll say you're good if you can do that' is not a praise but a demand.  You can state your demand in a more direct way, like 'I need you to do this' instead of coating it in a praise
  4. Trading Praise.  This is worse than conditional praise, this is where immediately after your praise, you ask something from them.  People will realize that you're actually manipulating them and they will turn against you instead of liking you.  In fact many salespeople are guilty of this, they often praise customers for 'having a good choice' and then recommend a higher price item for them. 
  5. Big Group Praise, especially when some of them are doing much more than the rest of the group and will feel that their efforts are not being appreciated.  Remember, a praise that is cheap is not valued by people
  6. Too Early Praise.  Yes, it's good to encourage people to take the first steps, but too early praise actually makes people become complacent. When they do not get praises later into the work, they will feel that their boss is just being phony and not sincere.  Worse still, they become de-motivated!   
  7. Un-deserving Praise.  This is the worse praise of all, for it simply adds on to the person's pain that his poor performance is made known.  If you want to praise, limit your praise to the effort, and make it a very small praise, more of an acknowledgement rather than a praise.
By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer at Asia Trainers, details are at here

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