Respect Versus Ridicule - Giving Feedback That Builds Up Rather Than Tears Down
Your intention is to motivate a child or employee to do better. You are clear in your mind what you want to achieve and the behavior that you want changed. You expect to be listened to and obeyed! You are right and they are wrong. Someday, they will be grateful that you cared enough to show them what they were doing incorrectly. The only "right way" is "my way."
Sound familiar? When a situation calls for feedback, we tend to justify our position and come at the situation from a power standpoint. This tends to put the other person in a defensive status and what may have started out as a visit turns into a confrontation, with words and emotions expressed that are not helpful.
Criticism is Hurtful
Ridiculing someone is to mock by making fun or dismissing them in a contemptuous way. Sometimes the ridicule may be verbal as in a criticism; "You just can't get this through your thick head, can you?" The disrespect may be done in a completely non-verbal but powerful way; rolling your eyes, crossing your arms and leaning back, smirking or looking away when the other person is talking.
Feedback is Helpful
Feedback is intended to provide helpful information for future decisions and development. If you feel that you need to offer pointers on how something should be done, first ask if they would like feedback. If it is offered without judgment or personal attacks, most people will welcome, or at least receive it.
Using the old sales jargon, you can sell any idea without making the recipient feel badly. "I know you feel that it was a hard assignment. I have felt that way when I was asked to do something for the first time and I didn't understand the instructions. However, I found that when I went back and read the instructions or ask for an explanation, it was much easier and I was able to understand what the boss wanted and was able to do it.
What's Right, Not What's Wrong
If you want positive behavior with your family, co workers and friends, encourage what is good and downplay what is wrong or unacceptable. When you focus on something, right or wrong, you will get more of it. It is called the Law of Attraction.
Verbal vs Non-Verbal Language
Verbal or spoken language is the communication of information. Most people only remember about 20% of what is said. Non verbal or body language is the communication of relationships. People look at your facial expressions to see how you really feel about what you are saying and the person you are saying it to. They listen to your tone of voice to gauge how sincere you are.
If others perceive that you are standing in judgment of them, they will be much less likely to be co-operative and be open to suggestions. When you feel that you must offer feedback, touch them lightly on the back or arm to get their attention, look them in the eye and then ask for permission to share your ideas.
Mutual respect is foundation of strong, healthy relationships
As you work with your relationships, you will see that criticism and ridicule does not give you the positive results you were hoping for. Respect, encouragment and kind feedback is much more effective at motivating people and projects than criticism and ridicule.
Never Just One Way To Do Things
Before you jump in with an opinion, perhaps it is best to remember there is never just one way to do anything. Every problem or situation has at least five different ways to get it done. Are you absolutely sure that your way is best?
Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.
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