Encouragement does wonders


“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success”

One of the casualties of intense competition are the school going children who are constantly prodded by parents to excel at examinations. While it is necessary to ensure that the children study hard and do well in the exams, matters become absurd when parents want their wards to top in all the subjects and focus attention on academics at the cost of sacrificing their games and extracurricular activities. The ultimate damage is done when parents instead of appreciating the success of the youngsters dwell on them having missed on a few marks, find fault with the method of study or berate the children for being careless and or not putting in as much effort as required. It is this irrational criticism that stresses out the children for they would have sought praise for their efforts and encouragement for their performance even if it fell marginally short of expectations.

Over an extended period of time we tend to perfect the art of finding fault, being critical and wantonly berating subordinates in  particular, under the mistaken notion that ‘fear is the key’ to discipline, performance improvement and productivity. While some of these techniques would have some positive effect, the negativity that permeates this approach makes it a very questionable tactics when the chips are down.  On the other hand lavish encouragement and tempered praise would restore self belief, enhance confidence and plant the seeds of positive thinking which can then go on to be the bedrock on which to build success. Often a good mentor or coach will strategically resort to this style especially when things seem hopeless for at the stage human frailty would tempt one to throw in the towel. A good dose of encouragement actually pumps up the recipients, rejuvenates them and they are boosted in their intent and then‘ fortune often favors the brave’

 It is well worth pondering that ‘success is never final and failure never fatal’. Unless we can appreciate the profound truth in this statement, the approach taken would be crass, crude and condemnable for the stick would be given more prominence than the carrot. A very unique and effective technique of encouragement involves leaders standing up and taking the rap when there is failure. This takes both a lot of courage and immense belief in the teams efforts. Going a step further when there is success the leader must take a back seat and let the team members believe that they accomplished it all on their own. The beauty of this approach lies in the fact that the leader has full faith in his/ her team and so ‘failure’ if any is deemed to be a collective failure with the leader standing up for his/ her team members. Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam former President of India gives a very vivid and detailed example of this leadership quality that he was privileged to experience firsthand from his leader Prof. Satish Dhawan. See this link to read about it http://tinyurl.com/3dl2mtg

Remember: “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Try this:

  1. Can you recollect 3 of the most demoralizing moments of your life? Who helped you overcome those terrible setbacks? How did you find the strength to bounce back?
  2. How will you use the learning from today’s post in the following situations
  • Your best friend has misplaced your favorite pen gifted by your grandfather and you are distraught and he is just as disturbed as you are.
  • Your colleague is great photographer and one of his photographs is tipped to win a major international competition. Unfortunately due to a technical error his entry is not taken into consideration for evaluation and he is terribly disappointed.
  • Your next door neighbor is very keen to get his son admitted to a prestigious school nearby but for reasons not known the bright child could not make it to the final admission list. Your neighbor and his wife are devastated and their anguish has spelled gloom in the house and the child too is terrified.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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