Zig Ziglar used to say that some people go around looking for people’s faults like there was a reward for finding them. He challenged people to be “good-finders.” He felt that it was important to look for the good things people were doing and brag about how pleased you are that they are doing those things. Another well-known motivator, Dale Carnegie, used to say that if we give someone a good reputation to live up to they usually will.
I have found that people will often live up to the standard you set for them. If you compliment them for doing certain things they are more often apt to repeat it. If you encourage them to raise the bar a little higher they are likely to do so.
When I was the pastor of a small, rural church I used to tell our congregation how much I believed in them and how I had more faith in them that some of them had in themselves. I kept telling them this until some of them began to believe it for themselves. As a result we accomplished far more than most churches our size would believe possible, and everything we accomplished was due to God’s grace and the fact that our folks really began to believe in themselves.
What happens to a child if they only hear negative comments about them all the time? I’ve heard parents tell their kids that they are lazy, dumb, stupid, and worse. What kind of self-image does that create for these children? Is it likely to be a positive or negative one?
The same is true of the people with whom we associate. If you have people who work for you, do you spend more time pointing out their faults or looking for the good things they do and then complimenting them for that? This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t hold people accountable or correct them when they make a mistake, but if people only hear from you when bad things happen they aren’t going to be very happy to see you come around. They are also going to work fearful of making a mistake which probably increase the possibility they will.
I encourage you to look for good things in the people you are around day after day. Compliment them for those good things. I bet it will make a difference in their lives, and in yours.