Tag Archives: Minivans

Encouragement Beats Anger

Performance matters.

Whether you need performance to improve amongst people you supervise at work, or better behavior by the young dudes in the house, good intentions will only take you so far.

As parents and workplace leaders, it’s up to us to make sure those we supervise perform up to their potential. The problem with that is folks, either young or older, aren’t always going to do what is expected of them.

It’s when you stumble into a situation like that we have to show that we understand what leadership, true, real leadership is all about. Which means that we can’t meet lack of progress with anger.

Positive encouragement is much more effective than criticism in almost every situation.

In a recent blog post took the time to round up a number of different sources that tell the tale. And, since I thought I’d try to do something a little less controversial than what I’ve been covering the last two days, that’s where I turn. She focused mostly on the business aspects of the discussion, whereas I’m using her ideas and turning them to family.

Seriously, dudes, think about our remit here on the Guide. We’re here to help each other become better people, better dads. We do this because we want to help our children become the best, happiest people they can be.

All of which means, this sort of thing is perfect for us. Because, let’s face it, dudes, there’s no little dude on Earth who is ever going to go through life perfectly. They’re all going to need a bit more help.

By focusing on positive interactions with your employees and encouraging an upbeat emotional state as often as possible, you’ll be more likely to have a happy, productive and efficient team.

Negative emotions like fear, anger, confusion. . . They all serve to narrow our focus so we can only see the thing that is causing us pain. On the other hand, positive emotions such as happiness or satisfaction, can cause us to be more open in our outlook so we find even more good things to think about.

It’s the Odyssey Effect again. That is, I never saw anyone driving a Honda Odyssey minivan (minivans are cool) until I purchased one and then I saw them everywhere.

Also, a positive little dude is a happy little dude and that makes for a much better house. I mean, who enjoys a whiny, loud, screaming, snot-dribbling monster running loose in the house. Other than when it’s us after our basketball team loses. Totally different thing.

Anyway, our little dudes slip up, and they will, we need to bring them out of their narrow focus on what failed and help them see what went right, and how to apply those lessons to other areas or when they try it again.

Remember, a bad mood is contagious. When you unduly or unjustly criticize a little dude, he’s going to go running and make the life miserable of the next person he sees, be it brother, sister, friend or mom.

Sadly, humans tend to remember negative emotions better than positive ones. So, yes, you can give a good lesson by criticizing a little dude. The problem is, he’s going to associate the bad feelings with the act that he was trying to accomplish. So the next time he contemplates that act, all he’s going to think about are the bad feelings that resulted the last time.

That, my friends, is a recipe for disaster.

Which is why positivity is so much better. Encourage the little dude to try things differently and see if he gets a different result. Encourage creative thinking and watch his imagination escalate to approach a problem from a different, unique angle.

Our job is to bring the little dudes up to the next level, not hold them down so they never climb higher.

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The Bane Of The 21st Century

by Richard

After about a decade of service, most of the lives of our little dudes, we decided to get a new car back in 2007. My wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Out Of Her Mind, was insisting on an SUV.

Something about how, being a dude I’d be more comfortable driving one of those. However, being the person primarily responsible for driving our now-not-so-little dudes around, I knew a minivan would provide more room for them so stretch out and not be in each other’s face during long trips. I also had a lot invested in trying to live up to the minivans are cool philosophy I’d been trying to convince other people about.

It’s true. Minivans are cool. (Rinse. Repeat.)

Anyway, while I liked the idea of automatic sliding doors and better gas mileage, the little dudes were most excited about the idea that the new Jonesmobile would have a DVD player installed inside the car. They loved the thought that they could watch TV while riding in the car. For them, that was really the arrival of the future in their lives.

We all remember our own childhood car experiences. Long trips with the family. Sitting in the back seat, no seat belts of course, trying to keep down the greasy hamburger while jerking back and forth on the busted shocks and rusting springs. Trying to move your head in rhythm to the car while keeping track of the words dancing on the page in your lap. Playing car games, counting license plates from Arizona or somewhere else exotic. Good times. Good times.

I also remember getting yelled at a lot by my parents because my sister was such a jerk. What? Well, it’s the way I remember it.

Now, though, we can take long, long drives, trips to anywhere, and have almost absolute quiet as the little dudes sit, strapped into their seats, staring slack jawed at the DVD screen and listening to their headphones. An actual quiet vacation drive. It was kind of creepy for the first couple of times not to have to break up fights every seven minutes. Now we only had to worry every hour and a half or so when they had to decide on the next movie.

It’s all good, yeah? No. Not really.

Because now the little dudes expect to be watching something every time they get in the car. If I let them, they’ll have a movie or Mythbusters DVD running at all times. Take a five-minute trip to the grocery store? They’re watching a movie. Drive to the movie theater? They’re watching a DVD movie in the back seat on the way there.

This constant need to be entertained in the car is getting on my nerve a bit. I barely get to hear a word from them during any car ride. I never thought I’d start to miss the sound of them yelling during a car ride.

So, what about you? Is the advent of the in-car DVD a good thing for you?

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