Teamdinner. We are chatting about the new generation of employees. Millennials. Entitled, bold, naive, excited, world-changer and pleasure-seeker at the same time. What do they have in common? They long for appreciation and praise. It seems that it is the one language they really understand. ‘Well done. You are the best’ resonates within them big time.
Unfortunately, this trait sets them up for manipulation quite easily. If someone performs better when they get appreciated, managers can press that button on any occasion. If the team member doesn’t know where he or she wants to go, they will follow the praise path. Ideally, this path leads more or less to a place they want to end up. But there are many stories around where this way ended in visionless job execution or even burn out.
But when you are so drawn to praise, criticism will be even harder for you. Bill Johnson puts it this way:
If you live by the praise of men, you will die by their criticism.Bill Johnson
During your career you will face a lot of criticism – and a lot of that will feel unfair. If your emotions are hooked on praise reports of your superiors and colleagues, you will soon get into trouble – loosing a lot of energy and joy while complaining about the unfairness of people. Or you might even feel inadequate for your job just because someone criticised you or your work.
How much are you hooked up on appreciation?
Getting a ‘well done’ every once in a while is nice, but if you feel you are dependent on positive feedback, promotions and praise reports, you need to check on your self-talk and narrative. You become a play ball of your emotions when you are hooked on the opinion of other people. Therefore, use some time of reflection. Be honest to yourself. Coaching might help to find out what really drives you. And if the praise of others is your lifeline, start developing your own life vision.