Friday, April 28, 2017

Learn to Wag More. Bark Less.

While enjoying breakfast at an outdoor cafe, I observed two couples with three dogs. Each time the dogs jumped up and barked, the owners said, "NO!" and gave them a treat.  How amusing that the owners did not realize they rewarded the negative behavior they wished to stop. 

If they had waited until the dogs became still and quiet, then said, "Good dog," patted a head and gave the treat, they might notice positive results in the future. The dogs might wag more and bark less.

NO! rates as the most overused word in the English language. It resounds everywhere especially when parents catch children in negative activities. Yes! appeals with optimism and elicits stronger connections to positive action. In our fast paced world, it takes patience to wait for the right time to reward behavior.  Consistency to catch good action works.

We can modify our writing behavior with the same techniques. If discouraged and we keep writing even if not on the topic, we move beyond frustration. Our mood changes and we feel more internal rewards than feeling upset that we stopped.  

Watch for opportunities to use Yes! instead of No today. Describe what it feels like to wait and reward positive behavior rather than reinforce negative actions.  

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