Why you should stop praising employees only for achievement

Applauding workers for their effort, not their innate skill, improves performance and cultivates a more inspiring atmosphere, this author says. Do you agree?

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Praise motivates, encourages and inspires.


Depending on your approach, praising an employee can actually have the opposite effect. The difference lies in whether we assume skill is based on innate ability or hard work.

Put another way, are people born with certain talents, or can they develop them? (I think they can definitely develop talent, but that’s just me.)

According to research on achievement and success by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, people tend to embrace one of two approaches:

1. Fixed mindset: This is the belief that intelligence, ability and skill are innate and relatively fixed-we have what we were born with. People with fixed mindsets typically say things like, “I’m just not that smart” or, “Math isn’t my thing.”

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