The year was 1998.
Name the artist from the following lyrics:
“I have to praise you; I have to praise you like I should…” (Answer at end of article, upside down)
Praise and encouragement are not the same. Praise is defined as admiration or giving approval to someone. Encouragement is giving confidence or hope in another person.
Would you prefer to be praised or encouraged? Shockingly, researchers found praise hinders people and their performance. Researchers took two groups of college students, where both were given an easy task to accomplish. After completing the task, one group was praised by the researchers with statements such as, “That was easy for you,” or, “You’re so smart.” The other was encouraged with words such as, “You worked really hard for that outcome,” or, “Wow, you don’t give up that easily, do you?”
The researchers then gave both groups the opportunity to choose a harder task or one just like the last. The group that was praised for their intellect stayed with the easier task, while the group encouraged for working hard accepted a more difficult challenge. Now, why would that be?
One reason is that the group was praised for something fixed, such a God-given talent or attribute (something they had nothing to do with like being naturally gifted in that task or something they didn’t control). Whereas the group encouraged for trying hard were spurred by the researcher in what they could control, and the amount of effort given.
We lead and motivate people daily. We need to ask, “Are we trying to give approval to our people on areas that are innate to them and therefore take no effort or don’t challenge them?” Or, “are we giving confidence and pouring hope into what our folks can control such as their attitudes, their character driven actions and perseverance?” We can ask ourselves, “Are we trying to gain admiration from our bosses for our position or what we’ve achieved,” or, “Are we giving our efforts whole heartedly, our very best and nothing more, never comparing to any others, and do we, at the end of the day, make ourselves proud by being true to the purpose inside of us and what we know we’re capable of?” Therefore, the pursuit of that end goal will not only encourage but also provide lasting contentment for those we lead and especially for ourselves.
For information about Luke AFB Chaplain Corps programs and events, “like” us on Facebook at Luke AFB Chapel. Feeling like you need to talk? Give us a call: 623-856-6211.