Why You Should Beware of Praise at Work

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The benefits of getting praised at work are well known by most. Depending on the praise that you receive, you can use positive evaluation of your work to further your career and get more people on your side of influence at work. Everybody respects a hard worker at work, and if the praise is deserved, there is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving it. 

The reactions of your colleagues to praise that you receive is difficult to control however. Your success at the workplace greatly depends on the perception those around you, hold of you. Receiving praise backed by official decision-makers at work can, in some instances, serve you in a more negative light than positive one.  This article hopes lay out the dangers of praise, as everything has its pros and cons. 

Keeping the cons of receiving praise in mind will prepare you for any malice which is sent your way upon being praised at work. Your name and face will now be publicized at your workplace, and knowing the following risks involved can help you use the newly gained attention in a carefully precise manner.  

 


Beware of Envy 


Envy from some of your coworkers will exist in the face of any positive news that you receive at work. This is a fact that many people willingly choose to ignore by not taking care in how they flaunt the praise they receive. It is intimidating to know that you sit in a building of competitive beings for half your day, every day. The people who are some of your most direct competitors in life are the coworkers who share the same level of influence as you at work. In other words, your most immediate colleagues can often be your most devoted competitors. Whether their competitive desires stem from a financial perspective, an ideological one, or in terms of having the best work-ethic, is up to them to decide. 

Once your work is praised at your workplace, your direct competitors will have no choice but to have you in their sights. As the victor of any competition that your coworkers mentally conjure up, you would now be the person they’d want to win against. Envy from your coworkers will show itself in aspects during your day you never thought competition existed in. Don’t be alarmed if you see competitive tendencies from your coworkers exhibiting themselves as a part of mundane tasks after you receive praise from “the man.” 

You can be caught by surprise in seeing competitive behavior and dialogue at the coffee machine, washrooms, and in general office tasks. Never-mind the competition that you’d feel as part of your actual work tasks (battle of ideas, race to timelines, and comparisons of work quality). For some time, you will be the poster boy/girl once you receive praise from authority, and you should prepare yourself for the competitive envy of those around you. 

Notwithstanding how much your colleagues congratulate on your victories at work, always expect malicious and envious behavior to follow suit from some

 


Beware of Expectation 


If you have the envy of your colleagues under control, then you should begin thinking about the expectations of those who’ve given you praise. The people who you receive awards, medals, and other possessions from tend to be those in positions more senior to yours. Your managers, leads, and directors will be the ones allocating praise. With their praise, come their expectations. These two travel hand in hand, and in an effort to understand why, you should ask yourself what their motive is for giving out praise.

The general motive to give out praise to one’s employees is to reward hard work and encourage others to work hard too. This motive, by in large, encourages the competitive aspects laid out above, along with propagating the rising expectations placed on the shoulders of those who receive that praise. The work that got you praised will no longer matter as much as it did before garnering that praise. The bar has been set, and your prior work is now old news. In order to keep receiving praise you will need to step up the level of your output, and conjure newer ways of garnering that praise. As you can imagine, this can be a stressful and unfulfilling venture. If you yearn to be praised at work, prepare to manage mounting expectation from your managers, in addition to the competitive feelings you elicit from your colleagues. 

Book Recommendation: 

Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior, Second Edition



Disclaimer of Opinion:
This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.