• Recognizing and supporting the positive values demonstrated in other people’s actions
  • Fostering an environment that encourages GuideMarks and other healthy behaviors
  • Acknowledging, with specificity, the good work of others


Do you value honesty? What about hard work and dedication? Do you think it is important for someone to stick with a project until it is completed? Do you appreciate it when someone goes the extra mile? Most, if not all of us, would agree that these are important traits. They form the basis of our relationships and they are central to the healthy functioning of our families, our jobs, and our communities. They are important. Really important.

But agreeing that these are important and doing something about it, are two different things. For example, I want my children to be honest with me, but do my words and my actions encourage that? I am sad to admit that there are days when I wonder if I do more to discourage their open communication than promote it. Have you ever felt that way?

In our relationships, we all have a chance to help foster and promote others’ good values and proper actions. One of the most effective ways to do this is to practice this week’s FFL GuideMark: Reinforce the Good.

Reinforce the Good: an intentional approach to recognizing and supporting the underlying positive principles demonstrated in other people’s actions.

Let’s break the definition down:

Intentionally recognizing and supporting – We keep an eye out for good behavior. This is not an accident. We are actively looking for it.

Underlying positive principles – We are not just looking at outcomes or results. We are thinking about the standards that are motivating someone.

Demonstrated in other peoples’ actions – We acknowledge how others’ words and actions positively reflect their standards and principles.

Together, these pieces form Reinforce the Good. We proactively, and with purpose, consider and acknowledge the good work of others. We take time to thank them for how they do their work and we recognize, with specificity, the positive results that they produce.


We all have a great opportunity to encourage and support those around us. When we set aside time to Reinforce the Good in others, it sends a powerful message about our own values and it lets others know that we are watching them -- not just watching out for their mistakes, but truly watching out for them.

What principles do you value in your family, work, friendships, etc.? How often do you positively acknowledge those principles? Do you encourage them or discourage them? We shouldn’t just say we value traits like honesty. We should be on the lookout for them and then let people know we see them.

Take time this week to Reinforce the Good you see around you.


Key Words and Phrases

Encourage a response; Support; Reward an action; Strengthen or increase; Instruct; Boost or shore up; Affirm and validate; Foster and sustain; Bolster or amplify; Emphasize or stress.

Opposite Terms

Ignore; Undermine; Weaken; Tear down.


GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

Copyright © 2012 Funds For Learning, LLC. About the Funds For Learning GuideMarks.

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