Is Praise the Only Way to Motivate?

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I was raised by a very tough man.  He never praised us for doing things well. That was expected of us.  However, if we did something wrong, oh we heard about that ASAP!

So I grew up and became an employer and wondered why I was so sensitive to criticism; and while I hand out lots of praise (I am sure I wanted to give what I didn't get), I let people know when something was wrong.  I started out approaching things from what's wrong instead of what's right.  I learned to try very hard to do the opposite when I saw reactions from younger people.  I also noticed that I felt the same way about clients.  Many clients never let you know what you have done that's been great and what you've done that has really worked for them.  Too much leverage? Worried we'll raise our fees?   

Cut to being in the PR business for 32 years.  I have had lots of employees and lots of clients.  Firstly, an employee's favorite word is "respect".  I never really understood the exact meaning of that. I always was taught that you respect your elders, those who have been through life's hard knocks already.  I give respect to those who give it to me. If a 24 year old speaks to me in a certain manner, they are gone, baby gone.

Having said all this I can't tell you what it means to get an email from a client who says, "Thanks Samantha and everyone at SandersonPR for what you do for us every day".  What??  

No, thank YOU Chuck Schwalbe, Marketing Maven from Erbert & Gerbert's Sandwich Shops for being a prince to work with.  Other clients who only show us what your competitors just got in the news? Umm, focus on your own companies, franchisees, employees and vendors and you'll end up successful enough to be in the news too!   

On another note, when is praise too necessary?  I saw a Facebook post today about being patient with kids on Halloween. "Don't be upset if a child takes too long to choose, maybe he has a focus issue, don't tell a child they took two pieces and that it's wrong, maybe he has a need to be special."

WHAT?  How about, "Don't rescue your kids from every possible obstacle that gets in their way because there are a lot more where that Halloween one came from!"

Constant coddling, praise and "motivation" is what I am always seeing in "how to motivate your employees" type articles. Guess what? I was motivated because Mom and Dad were not paying any of my bills. Try that for motivation.  Also, teach your kids that they need to respect and listen to what their employers say, or go get a paycheck somewhere else.  Life IS hard work and unless you are an heiress, get used to it and go into a job giving all you can and proving yourself, not acting like you need to be motivated to do anything.

Just a little advice. 

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1 Comment

May I suggest the motivation problem is this:

"Part of the problem is that workplaces are misguidedly encouraging workers to multitask .

[Stanford professor Clifford] Nass notes a number of societal forces that encourage multitasking. Many managers impose rules such as “You must answer email within 15 minutes” or “You must keep a chat window open,” but this means you’re stopping what you’re doing, fragmenting concentration,

Balkanizing the vast resources of your prefrontal cortex, honed over tens of thousands of years of evolution to stay on task.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rhonda Sanderson published on October 24, 2014 4:33 PM.

How Does Your Brand Score on this Quick Social Media Test? was the previous entry in this blog.

See How Easily You can Be an Authority is the next entry in this blog.

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