In our daily lives, we encounter situations where we have a choice to make. It’s a choice of response. In your workplace, what do you do when your team screws up? In your household, what do you do when your kids don’t do their homework? What do you do if they finish it well? All these situations might seem boringly common, but the reality is that the majority of people makes the less correct choices in such situations. How many times have you been yelled at in work? How many times have you been yelled at when you were a young rebellious kid? All of these experiences have framed your way of thinking. The truth is, most people have got a very bad understanding of how they should behave in such situations exactly because of the way they have been brought up. In this article, I want to utilise one of the concepts that is developed in a book called Whale Done, where the author tells a story of a manager who learns about how he should “motivate and treat” the people around him (including his team and his family) and how he should build healthier and more positive relationships.
According to Ken Blanchard, there are 4 ways we can respond to any situation. No response, negative response, redirection and positive response. The two very well known responses would be the positive and the negative one. However, Blanchard argues that these are too simplistic and that there are 2 more responses that are less easily observable.
The first one is no response. The reason behind the complexity of this response is that it is the most frequent one we use without realising that we do. In most cases, when people do something well, they tend to be ignored, but they should be praised. This is a very common issue because the only way you can motivate someone to grow and perform better and better is through a very careful choice of your responses. We need to understand that no response is also a response. It creates a very passive behaviour of the subject because he or she did something well but is not seeing any appreciation – the subject does not treat the consequence of his/her behaviour with any special care and thus might not utilise it for the future. This is not how we should treat people when they behave well. They need to be praised and rewarded – they need to see our positive response.
The second less understood response is the redirection. Redirection is a method of handling a negative situation by redirecting the energy or the attention of a person or an animal in a positive direction. What you can imagine behind that is trying to teach a og how to stay by your side. He sees another dog and there he goes. He has not stayed by your side. What you should not do is you should not scold him, you need to redirect his attention to something positive. You utilise other things you have practised before, you get to him and you show him a treat. You make him stick to you and you make him come a few steps with you. Then you give him a treat or you praise him. You have ignored his bad behaviour and you’ve turned the situation around. This is a very simple example. In the human case, you might have someone messing up in your work. What you should not do is you should not scold the person. You speak to him, you calmly explain that there has been a mistake and you take responsibility. After that, he will feel more comfortable and you can start focusing on how he can improve his performance. Scolding people does not work most of the times. Redirecting their attention is a different kind of story.
For a more detailed explanation, I highly recommend that you take a further look into the book Whale Good. In a very short summary, make sure that you understand that any reaction that you have will affect the person’s state of mind and your relationship. Focus on building a good relationship through positive responses and redirections and watch your relationships improve.
If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to blog in the menu on the right side. This way, you will get a notification every time we post something amazing!!
We give your feedback a very high value! We also love discussion!! So don’t be afraid and share your opinions with us through the comment option below, or on our social media!!