We spend a good bit of time in the office sorting through records. Records of accomplishment… sometimes these are HUGE accomplishments…sometimes they are life and death type accomplishments–and sometimes NOT. Sometimes we suffer from the “everybody gets a trophy” syndrome. How in the world did we get here?
I am not an expert, but can we agree that perhaps this started in our schools? Educators in the U.S. have been seeking ways to improve students test scores (sometimes I wonder if this was to benefit the student or the teacher). I believe the rhetoric goes something like this… the best way to improve a student’s ability is to PUFF up their self-esteem because high achievers have high self-esteem. Perhaps we can see the logic there….although I am sure those of us less educated types could poke holes in that argument… like maybe we are putting the cart before the horse?
Researchers have found that simply building a student’s ego breeds many negative traits: indifference to excellence, inability to overcome adversity, and aggressiveness toward people who criticize them.
So…what if we simply place high value on praising people? Of course we have to base our praise on truth. John Maxwell says he uses the approach below to encourage and lead others.
We can even use the above with ourselves…and no matter where we fail or how many mistakes we make…we don’t let that devalue our worth as people. …there is a saying out there… “God uses people who fail….because there aren’t any other kind…“