Monday, August 27, 2012

Do schools believe that?

The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate."
--Thomas J. Watson, former CEO of IBM

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Good job?

An anthroplogist studying Waldorf schools looks for the secret to developing self-esteem.  Thank you for presenting one perspective and for making me think about this (Can you make me think?  Probably not.  How about provoke?  Or precipitate?  Or cause? Or encourage?  Language matters.  It conveys meaning and meta-meaning, the message and the message behind the message.)

I agree that "good job" is a poor form of praise.  Yes, praise, in general, inadvertently, unintentionally, and unavoidably traps the recipient in external motivation.  This is praise, the addictive drug.

"Thank you," according to EJ Sobo, expresses appreciation while avoiding the praise trap.  "Thank you."  Translation:  "I noticed you.  I noticed what you did.  I appreciate the help you gave.  I'm grateful to you." 

My favorite "thank you" story comes from Thich Nhat Hanh.  If someone says to you, "You have a beautiful smile," you'll be tempted to say, "thank you." 

That person is really saying "Your smile has made this moment better for me.  Thank you."  So your response should really be, "You're welcome."

The encounter reads like this:
"You have a beautiful smile."
"You're welcome."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How to take NO for an answer

Here's a blog that's new to me:  The Genius in Children by Rick Ackerly.  Rick spoke at the recent retreat of the Montessori Administrators Association.