Praise can have damaging effects. To a coworker, “Wow, you learned that new software fast. You’re a genius.” To your boss, “Great sales pitch, you’re a natural at working the room.” To your daughter, “Way to go Casey. You’re so smart you got an A on that math test.” To your wife, “You look beautiful in that dress, all done up.” What is wrong with praise like this?
The research of Dr. Carol Dweck, author of Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success, finds that praise centered on a person or his/her ability may actually sabotage performance.