Blink and Discipline

Here are two statements from a most interesting book entitled, “BLINK – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” by Malcolm Gladwell.

“. . . the information on our face is not just a signal of what is going on in our mind. In a certain sense it IS what is going on inside our mind.” . . . . “We discovered that the expression alone is sufficient to create marked changes in the autonomic nervous system.” (Page 206)

“I began to listen with my eyes, and there is no way that your eyes don’t affect your judgment.” (page 251)

Unless a person is autistic (cannot differentiate objects from the emotional expressions of people), the person looking at you IMMEDIATELY perceives your emotions—just by looking at your face.

If you are thinking of arguing, blaming, criticizing, or demanding, your mindset is communicated EVEN BEFORE YOUR MOUTH IS OPENED.

Gladwell’s points reinforce the three principles to practice. If you want to influence people successfully—especially when disciplining young people—first THINK of how you can deliver your message in a positive way, empower with choice, and prompt reflection.


Malcolm Gladwell’s book is a masterpiece of how and why people make snap judgments, how these judgments can be beneficial, and—when they are not—what can be done about it.