General Praise Creates Resentment

Here’s a real life situation of a manager providing general praise to a team member.

Manager’s email to team member:

“Good job Jordan. Keep up the good work!”

Team member’s verbal response to the email:

“Shut up jack a$$. I’m not on your fifth grade soccer team. I’m a professional.”

This anecdotal situation (that I personally witnessed) shows that general praise often causes resentment instead of encouragement. And for good reason – general praise sends a message to a team member that the manager has no idea what he or she contributed or accomplished.

Research backs this same conclusion. General praise makes no impact on team member performance.

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