Praise and Motivation

  I want to point out the motivational consequences of praise. Provided that praise is perceived as sincere, it is particularly beneficial to motivation when it encourages performance attributions to controllable causes, promotes autonomy, enhances competence without an over-reliance on social comparisons, and conveys attainable standards and expectations. When I was a newbie at work I was able to put my name on top of the list. This was because I was always been praised by my superior every time I go to work on time, meeting goals (QA monitoring and following adherence). Back then, I felt very motivated every time I go work. To my surprise, I was able to be the top performer on the third month of my stay. With that, I was able to establish a positive impression to my colleagues.

However, after reading some articles online on motivation, I found out that there are also negative consequences of praise especially in schools.  Praise for ability or intelligence may lead children to adopt a performance goal orientation toward their achievement in which the documentation of high ability levels through successful performance becomes their primary motivational aim. That is, telling children that they are smart when they perform well may cause them to want to continue to prove that they are intelligent by receiving high scores.

In a workplace, there are also downsides in giving employees too much verbal praise. Too much verbal praise can boost one’s ego. A manager must know his or her personnel and be aware of their personalities. There are those who need more verbal praise than others and as a manager one has to be able to maintain equilibrium between the different personality types. Jealousy amongst employees can arise when one person feels they are better than the other. “Favoritism” is somewhat prevalent in some organizations and more prevalent in others. When a certain individual is receiving too much praise, others begin to feel uncomfortable and this is because of their perception and insecurity.


One interesting experience I can share takes me back to my senior year in college. In September 2009, me and my group were busy making our team project for about a week at one of my classmate’s house in Marikina. We decided to settle on making our project at their house because it’s near our school. We would always go straight to their house almost every night after class to do the project. We were rushing to finish it because we only had two weeks left before the final defense. After few days of sleepless nights, we decided one day to postpone the meeting for us to get some rest. The next morning, the rain was pouring heavily and little did we know that it was the devastating typhoon Ondoy ravaging. Unfortunately, my classmate’s house was affected by the flood and so as the materials for the project that we were making got drenched. We felt really devastated because we had to start over again from scratch but we were still lucky though that the meeting was postponed because we could have been trapped there in Marikina. In spite of everything, my team leader stood up for our group by motivating us to start making the project over again. He delegated each member of the group a specific task in order to maximize the time. This time the team got so serious that no one would even crack a joke, no more horse play, and no one even bother check their cellphones. With cooperation and team work, we were able to able to finish the project ahead of schedule. Even though there were some glitches on the project during the presentation, we were still able to pass the course.

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