Why is it so easy for us to criticise rather than praise?
I sometimes feel that we live in a country where criticism is more fashionable than praise. Even when the All Blacks win a game, the media still have something negative to say.
Surely we cannot forget the overwhelming feelings of pride and motivation when our parents praised us for doing things well or our teacher gave us a gold star! As a parent I sometimes find myself repeatedly telling my daughter to stop playing on the couches, don’t talk back to me, tidy your messy room and do your homework! Man what a naggy Mum I sound. No wonder she doesn’t do it. It’s amazing that when I change the way I word things and praise her for the good things she has done, she becomes an angel.
Believe it or not, this too relates to adults. Ok, so we don’t need gold stars (although some of us still like them), but praise and encouragement from our boss, family, friends and even our own kids, can have a huge effect on how we feel and act.
As a trainer, it is vital to commend, praise and give positive encouragement to help keep members and clients focused, motivated and to build their self esteem.
I remember when I was being coached for a triathlon. I was dreaded ringing my trainer because I had missed quite a few sessions. I expected her to tell me how detrimental this would be with my race being so close. She was quite the opposite and reminded me how hard I have been training, what’s in the past is in the past and it’s never too late to get back on track. Wow…..I was motivated all over again.
Think about how you talk to your clients and question whether you are really giving them positive praise and reinforcement, or whether the ‘what not to do’ statements are taking over.