• 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
The first thing that popped into my head when thinking about “Reinforce the Good” was the old adage, “You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar.” The phrase means that fostering a positive environment that focuses on encouragement will go a lot farther to achieving a desired outcome than one that scolds or offers no recognition at all. 

We are all driven to succeed in some form or fashion; looking to achieve a goal or outcome. As such, tone and attitude go a long way. Whether it’s corporate or personal, the environment you build around you goes a long way in sustaining certain levels of success and helping achieve those goals or desired outcomes. Reinforcing the Good is more than just being nice, it’s taking the time to make a positive impact on those around you and recognizing the positive impact they had in achieving the goal. 

Take baseball for example. It is a game where you will fail more often than you will succeed and often your success is predicated off someone else’s failure. Not one person in Major League Baseball bats over .500. Ty Cobb holds the highest career batting average at .3664 and the historic average of the game is around .260. As a coach, leader or colleague, is it productive to focus solely on the outcome of one particular statistic or event? No. To focus solely on the failure omits the good that may have resulted because of one’s effort. Your approach and execution may have been flawless. You hit the ball and hit it well, it’s just that someone else made a good play, which resulted in an out. 

Reinforcing the Good takes effort, it takes situational awareness and acknowledges that someone’s effort didn’t go unnoticed. It takes a personal mindset in knowing that while I may not have achieved this one time, I understand and have been told how my approach and preparation helped contribute to the team’s overall success. 
It’s a mindset of sweet versus sour, honey and vinegar. Reinforce the Good and see where it takes 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

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