Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.--Dr. Leo Buscaglia
Charles Schwab, the successful businessman, said, "I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism."
Everyone wants and needs to be affirmed for his accomplishments. A little boy playing darts with his father said, "Let's play darts. I'll throw and you say 'Wonderful!'" That's what the encouraging person does for others.
We tend to become what the most important person in our life thinks we will become. Think the best, believe the best, and express the best in your children. Your affirmation will not only make you more attractive to them, but you will help play an important part in their personal development.
—John C. Maxwell (excerpted from the bookBe a People Person: Effective Leadership Through Effective Relationships)
The movie "Stand and Deliver," tells the true story of Jaime Escalante, an immigrant from Bolivia who taught at Garfield High School in inner-city Los Angeles. He accomplished remarkable results with students known to be especially difficult to teach.
One story not depicted in the movie was the one about "the other Johnny." Escalante had two students named Johnny in his class. One was a straight A+ student; the other was an F+ student. The A+ student was easy to get along with, cooperated with teachers, worked hard, and was popular with his peers. The F+ Johnny was sullen, angry, uncooperative, disruptive, and in general was not popular with anyone.
One evening at a PTA meeting, an excited mother approached Escalante and asked, "How is my Johnny doing?" Escalante figured that the F+ Johnny's mother would not be asking such a question, so he described in glowing terms the A+ Johnny, saying he was a wonderful student, popular with his class, cooperative and a hard worker, and would undoubtedly go far in life. The next morning, Johnny—the F+ one—approached Escalante and said, "I really appreciate what you said to my mother about me, and I just want you to know that I'm going to work real hard to make what you said the truth." By the end of that grade period, he was a C- student, and by the end of the school year, he was on the honor roll.
If we treat our children as if they were "the other Johnny," chances are dramatically better that they will, in fact, improve their performance. Someone rightly said that more people have been encouraged to succeed than have been nagged to succeed. This example makes us wonder what would happen to all the "other Johnnies" of the world if someone said something really nice about them. —Zig Ziglar