Tag: Praise

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

Seek and find

What we see depends mainly on what we look for. – Sir John Lubbock

If you are one of those who ends up as a frustrated shopper rarely finding what appeals to you or one who finds too many faults in what  you plan to purchase, ask yourself the question ‘Do I really know what I want?’ Take the simple case of buying a new mobile phone for personal use. While the budget constraint might be very clear, the other parameters of type of the phone viz. style, color, features, utility, functionality etc. are not very clear to us. Obviously then we flirt from phone to phone secretly wishing to own all, but finding it very difficult to narrow down the personal choice. On the other hand when we have to book tickets for travel, we are fairly sure of the dates, the mode of transport and the preferred choice of seating. We are clear about our requirements because the choices are so limited and we need to decide clearly before we lose out the opportunity.

Many a time, we do not leverage this great insight and that is why we often end up angry, frustrated and despondent when we are challenged, face obstacles and are confronted with seemingly insurmountable problems. The trick is not to avoid the problem or deflect it or give up in frustration. Instead if we continue to persist seeking the answer we will come up with some of the most innovative solutions and perhaps there are extremely simple solutions at hand which we have overlooked. All the great innovations of the world are testimony to the unquenchable thirst of the scientist and discoverers to search for that solution to their challenge. In fact the progress of mankind can be attributed to man’s self belief and search for answers for his/ her problems.

This brings us to another powerful use of this wisdom of seeking and finding what we search for. When we are prone to complaint, criticize, run down, cast aspersions or find fault we need to take a pause and see the good points, the positives, the strengths and the opportunities that exist and our negative mindset will be largely nullified. Similar if one wants to get the best out of people all we need to do is look out for their strengths, seek out something to praise them for, identify their positives and seek out opportunities to communicate these positives to them. Notice how they get charged up, work to live up to their promise and actively seek to get your attention and a reinforcement of the earlier appreciation from you.

It might sound ironic but good friendships are often developed not because we are consciously aware of our requirements for a type of friend but invariably it is our sub conscious that helps us gravitate towards the right people with whom we blend well, have the perfect rapport and forge a long lasting bond. This again simply proves the point that when we seek consciously or unconsciously, we get what we want.

Remember: Seek first to understand and then you will be understood.

Try this

  1. Assume you are rushing to a formal meeting. You are not wearing a coat but just a full sleeve shirt and tie.  Unfortunately your sleeve gets entangled in a nail and the button is ripped off. You wouldn’t want to attend the meeting with one sleeve buttoned and the other unbuttoned. What are the various options before you to salvage the situation.  ( You have no time to resew a button). Come up with at least 3 different answers and email it to contact @actspot.com.
  2. Find at least 3 positives in the following situations
  • You have lost your wallet
  • You get injured on the eve of an important match and you miss the opportunity to play the match.
  • Your best friend suddenly stops talking to you and avoids your attempts to communicate with him/ her

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Unconditional acceptance

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.

If you want to know the secret of a popular person, just observe their interactions and communication style and you will make the profound discovery that they are spontaneous and large hearted. It is in those two qualities that they give themselves completely and freely off and that is what the world wants, appreciates and acknowledges. Most of us for example will give alms to a beggar when he / she approaches us but rarely do we stop to give something more as a planned offering given out of our own free will. True we may spare old clothes and left over food, but those are all from our excess and more with a view to avoid wastage than as a genuine heartfelt offering of love. On the other hand, observe volunteers who work in the social service sector for free; they put their heart and soul in what they do.

In our own life there are ample opportunities for us to share ourselves with those who need us.  Beginning with a smile that costs us nothing but enables us to connect with a everyone, we can express ourselves through our conduct, being polite, attentive, even tempered etc. and in our attitude of being positive, helpful and affectionate. In other cases we offer our services out of a sense of obligation as in the case of a blood donation camp or participating in events to make up the numbers. Here the approach is to be obedient and disciplined and cooperative but the spirit seems to be artificial. On the other hand there are many who take the initiative knowing fully well the responsibilities and the pain that comes with the job.

Notice the people who are always smiling and cheerful and you will see that they do not feel obliged or stressed by anything. This is because they have no expectations nor do they feel constrained to act as a matter of duty. Whatever they do they do so out of their sense of compassion, a feeling of gratefulness and because of their urge to share. There are no rewards except perhaps the joy and contentment that accompanies a spontaneous gesture be it taking the injured to the hospital, spending time with the aged and infirm or holding the hand of someone who is deeply distressed and distraught.  These rewards are priceless and that is why they are rewarded only to a select few who just plunge in and initiate action when the going is tough.

Look back and visualize your favorite uncle/ aunt/ grandparents/ teachers and see a common trait that endeared them to you.  They tried hard to understand you, your needs, your feelings, your fears and your longings. While they may never have been able to really fulfill all your needs, you could sense a feeling of comfort, a glow of happiness and the magic of serenity when they were with you. They may have spoken little, offered you nothing but by their sheer loving presence reviewed your spirits and recharged your life. How did they do it? Simply by being there when you wanted them most; you didn’t ask them to they sensed it; they didn’t lecture you but merely held your hand; they just gave themselves to you unconditionally and presto life was wonderful again.

Remember: “The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well”  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Try this:

  1. Volunteer to participate in some social service activity and ensure you stand by your commitment. Choose to share of your talents / your time/ your expertise/ your creativity
  2. Make it a practice to use the power of our senses to give unconditionally to all. Do this in the following manner ( but use discretion please)
  • Sight – Appreciate the grooming / manners/ help/ spontaneous gestures/ the beauty around
  • Smell – Appreciate the aroma of the food/  the perfume/ the fragrance of flowers
  • Touch – Hug a child or a close friend or use it as a gesture of deep sympathy
  • Hearing – give a patient hearing / listen attentively without prejudging
  • Tasting – Criticize with caution / appreciate with warmth all those who feed us

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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