Encouragement vs. Correction
Have you ever tried to encourage someone and had it backfire? That’s not uncommon but is easily avoided. Here’s how…
There’s nothing that’s worse than wanting to encourage someone and having it backfire. Having them come away less encouraged than when they started. But it does happen a lot. Let me give you an example. I know a couple where one of the wife’s desires is for her husband to make the bed in the morning. He just never seems to do it. He just gets up and heads out to work and he just doesn’t do it. But one time recently, he did it. He got up and before he left he made the bed and she wanted to really encourage him. And she wanted him to keep doing it.
So when he got home, what she said was, “Oh honey, thanks so much for making the bed.” and then added, because she wanted to help him improve, “Next time when you do that, if you could make sure you tuck in the sheets, and make sure the spread is even along the side and then fluff up the pillows and set them out this way, that would be really great”.
Now I’m sure her intentions were good but I guarantee you her husband did not come away encouraged. All he came away hearing was, “you did it wrong” and that did not motivate him to do it again, I promise you. See if you want to encourage people, never add correction or instruction to your encouragement.
Let your encouragement stand alone, otherwise, it won’t stand at all. All people will hear is the correction. They’ll hear the instruction. They’ll hear they didn’t do it right. And no one’s encouraged by hearing that. Now to be clear, when you want to correct someone, you can bring all the encouragement you want. That’s good. But if you want to encourage them don’t bring the correction. It won’t work.
So if you want to encourage people, we smart about it. Let your encouragement stand alone. Don’t add anything to it. You’ll find people will appreciate your words and they’ll appreciate you.
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