I was talking to a friend earlier this week about the trend toward giving kids a trophy just for participating and how it affects their self-esteem. Later that day I found an article in the Washington Post that addressed the same concern.
Teachers are learning to “articulate a more precise, and scientific, vocabulary for praise that will push children to work through mistakes and take on more challenging assignments.”
Although the article talks about inspiring children, I believe that some of the principles apply to adults, as well. The article goes on to say that children who are “praised for trying hard or taking risks tend to enjoy challenges and find greater success.”
Consider a challenge you may be having and think about the language you use to motivate yourself. Whether you are trying to encourage a child or an adult, make the praise specific to build up stores of resilience and encourage risk taking.