Ellie, the younger twin, was fighting the bottle. She’d take the nipple. Chew and suck. Then spit out milk and pout. It was frustrating.
Jen took her. Ten minutes later the bottle was emptied. I asked Jen what she did to make Ellie eat. She told me. I barely believed her. She did it again the next time. It worked. And it still does.
Jen encouraged Ellie. She’d tell her in a sweet voice how good she was being and what a good little eater she was. Ellie ate. No problems.
Obviously, Ellie didn’t understand the words. She’s 9 weeks old. The tone and the intent mattered.
The same is true in how we communicate with adult. “Nice job, Ronnie” means something completely different when said with a kind smile vs a sneer and rolled-eyes. The tone and the intent matter. Also, we can directly support a change in a persons behavior with a positive and encouraging tone and approach.
Ellie and Jen taught me to encourage when I don’t feel like it. And to do it even when it’s not yet “earned.”
Life’s more nourishing when I do.
- What Your Boss Needs to Know About Engagement (blogs.hbr.org)
- Finding Grace (ericwarheit.com)
- Cool and the Corporation (blogs.hbr.org)