2310 Praise.

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Praise is a surprisingly good motivator which makes it strange that so few people use it. It’s essentially infinite & costs nothing. Of course, like any resource, you do have to know how to use it to get the most out of it. You can’t just firehose praise & expect it to work properly. A person will develop a resistance to it if they receive it perpetually.
My favorite form of praise is cash. Although I do like verbal praise too. You can give both to me on Patreon! (or subscribestar, but let’s face it Patreon is the market leader at the moment.)

The best managers I worked for were experts at using praise effectively. Reprimands often came with some praise to take the sting out & keep the employee motivated & invested. It’s important to recognize failings, but also praise strengths. Give it a try sometime & see if you can improve things.


I feel like Reggie is always making reference to his father’s bad temper or impossible standards. But do we have any examples of this? Everytime we’ve seen Mr. B he’s always been supportive if not simply civil in general. Am I missing something?

I suspect Reggie’s perception of his father’s expectations are merely reflections of his own insecurities, he thinks his father has staggering expectations of him, but Mr. Boothe just wants his son to be able find fulfillment in his work. It’s a self inflicted poison, but definitely not an unfamiliar one, I definitely have a monstrous opinion of my own father despite him being an incredibly affable person who maintains a large and well informed social circle. It comes from an entire upbringing of hearing how much of a genius he was in his youth and the “fact” that as his son I was destined for greatness as well. The expectations themselves are the poison, but they are fixable with a change of perspective. It looks like gals are, intentionally or not, helping to show Reggie another side of his old man, and it’s a very satisfying scene.

I recall that Mr. Boothe himself admits he’s been critical. I think we’re witnessing a rare thing- Mr. Boothe having the opportunity to be proud of his son. It’s happening on screen, and we should we grateful we’re privy to it, though I don’t know about you- I still notice little things, the slight sharpness in his words, the choice and bluntness of topics, that give away Reggie isn’t wrong about having him for a father

I have to agree; a manager who knows how to use praise properly can motivate his employees for free

My Major at my first security job was good at it. I could tell he’d had a good boss in there somewhere. The ‘Colonel’, on the other hand, was a complete jerk. I was transferred into his area from another section. He had nothing but abuse and foul language for me. For someone who was supposed to be a former State Trooper he was a complete sack of horse exhaust.

The company was sold out from under him and he lost his job. He was a minority stock holder, and he hardly received enough to live on. His family abandoned him, and nobody who knew his reputation would hire him. When I heard he took his own life I was ashamed of how glad I felt.

True, but not forever. Never forget Dilbert, and Alice’s performance review with the PHB.

“How do you feel when I give you positive feedback?” “Underpaid.”
“How do you feel when I give you negative feedback?” “Underappreciated.”
“Then what motivates you??” “The government makes rectangular pieces of paper.”


I read the Honor Harrington series by David Weber; she has a policy that she gives praise to her subordinates in public, and criticism in private. I don’t know how common that is in real life but I adopted it as a rule. If I feel I need to tell someone something negative, if I can I do it in private.

I did an Internet search for “praise in public criticize in private” and found lots of articles about it. There’s also a hybrid rule where it is a good idea to criticize in public but not say specifically who is being criticized, for example: “One of the workers failed to wear suitable safety gear so I’m reminding everyone that you need to wear it.”

By the way, I *highly* recommend the first two books in the series. Some of the later books, I don’t really recommend; but those two are cracking good books.

And… both of those excellent books are available as ebooks, for *free*, from the Baen Free Library. So I encourage you to check them out.

The first one:

The second one:


Or, get all of the Baen CDs that were included in hardcover books, that contain back libraries of many of their authors. The CDs were free to copy and give away, so long as you didn’t charge.

The Fifth Imperium has all of them that are distributable. (Some apparently had the rights removed.) https://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/

And definitely check out the Baen Free Library.

Receiving praise always feels condescending to me so always makes me feel worse when I receive any at work, it’s like I know what I’m doing and how to do it right I don’t need praise for that.

I guess it depends on the person and how they apply it. If they are applying it like gravy to everyone (“Hey, you got that $5 add-on to that sale? Top notch!” for the sake of example), then it really is hollow.

Sometimes, a nod and a thumbs up is all that is needed, and should be used in context.

My favorite form of praise is cash. Although I do like verbal praise too. You can give both to me on Patreon!

That was very smooth. If I had any kind of income at all, I’d subscribe just for that.

I can absolutely confirm that too much praise will eventually mute the flavor of it. I never struggled in school so I grew up with both teachers and parents giving regular praise on my “smarts”.

So now anytime I get praise for something I can link to just being able to puzzle things, there’s this sigh followed by the thought of “it’s not that hard for me” and it just makes me sad that other people struggle with it so much.

That said, I discovered a few years back that someone praising my appearance apparently makes me feel really good, but that doesn’t come around much now that I’ve adapted the shut-in lifestyle.

It’s funny, that; being praised for smarts. I never much cared for the idea of being praised for something pretty nebulous, even if it was me receiving it. Then, a wise person, and I do wish I could remember who it was, said to a bunch of us, “Praising someone for being naturally smart, strong or fast, is like praising a daffodil for being very yellow.”
Someone else said something along the lines of, “Don’t praise your children for being smart, but do raise them to work hard for their goals and praising them for that.”

I think my Grandpa, rough no-nonsense farmer that he was, would have said, “If you’re gonna give out participation trophies, make them earn it.” The senior Booth kinda reminds me of that. :)

When I got my B.Sc in Mathematics (Honours) my mother was intensely proud of me for what I had accomplished. It made me feel uncomfortable, because she didn’t really understand what I had done. If she had praised me for the hard work I was putting in studying algebraic geometry while I was doing it and she could see me pacing the floor trying to grok some of the theorems, and supplied me with cookies and milk, that would have reached me.

Hmmm. That was what I intended to say. But now, with about fifty years hindsight … I have attention deficit. What helps most with ADD is reminders in the moment. Could it be the same with praise?

I always thought the ceremonies of degree granting were superfluous. What counted was the degree as a result of hard work. The convocation ceremony itself was merely bureaucratic tedium.

I didn’t bother attending the convocation when I got my Ph.D. A waste of time. They mailed the certificate to me.

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