Greetings from Montreal, where it is freezing temperature this morning (a Montreal friend said better to say it is not as warm as Dallas) and of course I did not bring a coat. I’m speaking at noon today to associates and one subject I will discuss is motivation.

What does science tell us about the impact of praise on motivation?

I write about it frequently here, in part because I witness it in my coaching lawyers.

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Take a look at this 2014 article: The power of praise and recognition. Also take a look at Entrepreneur Magazine article: The Power of Praise in Business — and How to Do it Right. There are many important points made in the articles:

  1. Praise involves very little effort and usually no money, but it produces significant increases in revenue.
  2. Praise triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the reward and pleasure centres of the brain. As well as making us feel good, dopamine can also contribute to innovative thinking and creative problem-solving at work.
  3. Praise should be for genuine achievements.
  4. Specific praise has greater impact than general kudos “great job on handling the Henderson case” is more effective than “keep up the good work.”
  5. Personalize praise. While one associate may respond well to a public back patting in an office corridor, another might be more appreciative of a handwritten note.