Saturday, May 30, 2020
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Incentives versus threats

As all of my regular readers will be fully aware of, as I have stated repeatedly in these articles over the years, everything in life is a matter of choice – yes, indeed it is. We always have the choice of being kind or mean, positive or negative, wonderfully helpful or downright disgusting. Yes indeed, the Creator gave us all free will at birth, so when we make a wrong choice we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Now at various times in our life we will have to discipline other people. It could be in our personal life if we have children when it will indeed be of paramount importance for us to discipline our children when they do something wrong, which believe me they will from time to time, it’s inevitable. It could of course be at work if we either own our own business or are in a supervisory or management position at an organization we work for. Now here’s when this most important matter of choice enters the scene once again – when disciplining others, no matter what the circumstances are, the actual method in which we discipline once again gives us a choice.

We can use, as today’s title puts it – incentives or threats. For example, if we’re dealing with young children either as a parent or teacher, we say for example, ‘If you behave at church tomorrow, I’ll let you go and visit with your friend’ or you could use a threat by saying, ‘If you don’t behave yourself at church I will not let you go to the ball game in the afternoon.’ Now the point which I really wish to make here today is this – you will get much better results from people, young and old by using incentives rather than threats – yes, you will.

Yes, my friend, believe me, from a whole lot of experience – incentives rather than threats will always get better results with people of all ages, and in a variety of situations. One final point – when you have to discipline others, always refer to the action and not the person. In other words, we criticize the action which was wrong whilst we make it quite clear, that we still love the person. This is particularly important when dealing with children.

• Think about it!

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