In a northwestern US city, a woman from out of town parked her car
in an attended lot and walked across the street to shop. Hoping to
get a discount on the cost of parking, and not familiar with local
idioms, she asked, "Do you give validation?"
"Certainly," replied the store's manager. "You are an excellent
person and I love your hair."
That might have been worth the cost of parking. I mean, who wouldn't
pay a couple of dollars for the kind of validation that she got?
Mark Twain said, "I can live two months off a good compliment." But
then he also said, "If you can't get a compliment any other way, pay
yourself one." I suppose sometimes that is the only way we can get
I'm a strong believer in the power of affirming other people. One
time I facetiously told an audience that I have never in my life
received a standing ovation. They gave me one -- and I'm here to
tell you it isn't nearly so satisfying when you have to ask for it.
Nevertheless, I never underestimate the importance of positive
encouragement in a life.
Author Alan Loy McGinnis cites an interesting study about the power
of positive encouragement (http://tinyurl.com/6xg9mba). He tells of
a second-grade teacher who complained that her children were
spending too much time standing up and roaming around the room
rather than working.
Two psychologists spent several days at the back of the room with
stopwatches observing the behavior of the children and the teacher.
Every ten seconds they noted how many children were out of their
seats. They counted 360 unseated children throughout each 20-minute
period. They also noted that the teacher said "Sit down!" seven
times during the same period.
The psychologists tried an experiment. The asked the teacher to tell
the children to sit down more often. Then they sat back to see what
would happen. This time they noted that she commanded her students
to sit down 27.5 times in an average 20-minute period, and now 540
were noted to be out of their seats during the same average period.
Her increased scolding actually made the problem worse.
(Interestingly, when she later backed off to her normal number of
reprimands, the roaming also declined to the exact same number
recorded previously in just two days.)
Then the experimenters tried a different tack. They asked the
teacher to refrain from commanding the children to sit down
altogether, and to instead quietly compliment those children who
were seated and working. The result? Children's roaming decreased by
33%. They exhibited their best behavior when they were complimented
more and reprimanded less.
There is immense power in affirming others. Leaders who get results
know this. People who draw others to themselves and who motivate
others to great action are almost always those who encourage more
than criticize; who compliment more and reprimand less.
Perhaps the woman's question is the correct one after all. "Do you
give validation?" I hope I can always answer YES.
~ Steve Goodier ~
[ by: Steve Goodier - Copyright © 2011 - from Steve Goodier (LifeSupport@yahoogroups.com) ]
All Rights Reserved.