LIE NO. 3
PRAISE SPURS US ON
Parents can’t praise their children too much, and the same goes for bosses and their employees— this motivation myth persists to this day. However, the fact is: Excessive praise can cause lasting harm to our motivation or destroy it altogether. A study conducted by University of Toronto psychologist Joan Grusec has shown that children who were praised for sharing were actually less generous than others in everyday life. The expert explanation: The praised behavior was no longer considered valuable, merely something that is done to elicit the desired reaction from adults. Many researchers are now convinced that generations of parents have reared their children incorrectly due to this motivation lie. Reason: Through constant praise it’s possible to create a motivation junkie. The same holds true for adults. “Praise works like a drug. The more often you use it, the higher the dose must be to produce an effect,” explains Steffen Kirchner. Researchers don’t advise against praise entirely, but they suggest using it in a more targeted, personal, and genuine way so it can actually be a motivating factor.