Leading Blog






11.23.07

Why Leaders Don’t Compliment

In Results that Last, Quint Studer lists six myths and excuses as to why too many leaders resist giving people much needed compliments.
  • Big Head: “If I compliment them too much, they’ll get a big head!”
  • Complacency: “If I tell them they did a good job, they’ll get complacent!”
  • Martyrdom: “I don’t need a compliment; why should they?”
  • Another Day, Another Dollar: “They should just be happy with a day’s work for a day’s pay—in fact, they should be grateful to have a job at all!”
  • Scrooge Mentality: “I can give out only so many compliments a week!”
  • Pride: “This is hokey!”
Many of us are adept of finding what’s wrong. It’s easy to do and we are almost programmed from birth to do it. What isn’t so easy, but vital to the giving of compliments, is finding what people are doing right. Specific behavior that is recognized and complimented is the behavior that gets repeated.

Charles M. Schwab (1862-1939), founder of the Bethlehem Steel Company, said, “I have yet to find the person, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism.”

In the often cited study by Gerald Graham, Ph.D. of Wichita State University, it found that employees consider personal, immediate recognition by their managers to be one of the most powerful workplace motivators. However, 58 percent of the respondents said their manager rarely, if ever, offered such simple praise. Graham concluded, “It appears that the techniques that have the greatest motivational impact are practiced the least, even though they are easier and less expensive to use.”

Who should you be thanking?

Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:41 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Communication , Management , Motivation



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