Believing the best is a challenge. It is so easy to focus on what’s wrong with someone rather than on what’s right about them. It’s the natural human response. But when we do this, we risk discouraging others and damaging relationships. Even when it is necessary to point out a mistake, appreciation for the effort is needed in generous proportions to the necessary correction. Ten parts affirmation to one part correction is about right, the experts say. if you can’t think of then good things to say, then just affirm what you can and forget the correction this time.
We all become skilled through practice, and with each repetition, there’s opportunity for improvement. In the meantime, even a small dose of gratitude and affirmation keeps people motivated to good works. Even more importantly, it helps them feel good about who they are and the contribution they are making to the family enterprise. The secret is simple. Celebrate the kinds of behaviors you want to see more often. Appreciation is never wasted. You may even share in the rewards!
From Jumpstart Connections, Karen Holford and Ron Flowers, p. 15.