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The Perils of Praise: Giving Positive Feedback

CEG offers Corporate Training and Consulting, as well as traditional and virtual instructor-led courses in management and leadership, project management, business analysis, business process management, agile/scrum, and lean six sigma.

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300 Brickstone Square • Suite 201 • Andover, MA 01810 USA • 1.800.288.7246 • +1.978.649.8200 • info@corpedgroup.com Praise Doesn't Work As a manager, I handed out praise like candy to my employees. I thought it was the perfect way to make them feel better about themselves and make them want to work harder. Imagine my surprise when people's responses didn't match my expectations. I got no thanks for my candy handouts. In fact, most people seemed embarrassed and even a little suspicious by my praise. Why? What was I doing wrong? Isn't praise a good thing? Don't people like to receive a pat on the back? Well, it turns out, they do, but it isn't praise they're looking for. They're looking for something much more specific and meaningful. They're looking for positive feedback, which is quite different from praise. Praise is often experienced by the receiver as a negative thing: people can feel uncomfortable, skeptical, or even defensive. Heap praise on someone and he or she very well could be thinking: The Perils of Praise: Giving Positive Feedback M A N AG E M E N T A N D L E A D E R S H I P

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