// you’re reading...

Beating the Odds

Praise as Much as You Criticize

Whether you’re a coach, a teacher, a boss or a parent, you’re in the business of molding the future. How do you help people improve? How do you help others become all they can be?

There’s great advice in this article. It’s the Management Tip of the Day from the Harvard Business Review.

“Research shows that identifying and building strengths produces better results than focusing on faults,” the article says.

This sounds very much like two other pieces of wisdom. There’s the best management strategy in the world: Catch someone doing something right.

Then there’s the Golden Ratio: Give five compliments for every criticism.

But of all these pieces of advice, I like the phrase “identifying and building strengths” best. It’s more specific, and requires more effort and involvement from the coach, parent, teacher or boss.

Bobby Hurley, renowned basketball coach at St. Anthony in Jersey City, N.J., advises coaches to compliment each athlete in the first 20 minutes of practice. This forces the coach to find something worth mentioning.

The compliment must have substance, and be related to some specific behavior or progress that the athlete is demonstrating. It is difficult to do, especially with all the needs and distractions that arise in practice. But coaches who set aside the time and energy to do it will be “identifying and building strengths.”


No comments for “Praise as Much as You Criticize”

Post a comment