We are all guilty of offering criticism to others, even if we disguise it as “constructive” criticism. But think about it: Why would people want to hear criticism from someone else? Criticism promotes negativity, rather than positivity. Criticism puts a person on the defensive and usually prompts the person to justify the actions. It is also dangerous because it wounds a person’s precious pride, impinges on one’s sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
Even B.F. Skinner proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior.
When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with people who are driven by emotions, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
Smart communicators do not judge people by the gauge of their own years and experiences. Instead, they prompt people by asking nonthreatening reflective questions such as, “If you had the opportunity to relive that experience, what would you do differently?” This is called taking a positive approach, and it’s something I talk about in depth in both of my books.
I challenge you to try this positive approach for at least one day. Please share your experience of doing so in the comments below.