Communications Hack – Praise 6:1

Debra Quinn

Wondering how much praise is too much? And when constructive criticism is more effective?

According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, the ideal praise to criticism ratio for leaders who want to motivate maximum performance, is 5.6 to 1. (to be exact)

That means finding six reasons to praise for every one criticism.

While we don’t advocate counting and doling out praise by spreadsheet, the ratio does sound about right, doesn’t it?

Especially when praise is given authentically for a specific and clear reason.



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