Words are powerful
Our whole culture is permeated with negative words and reinforcements. Putdowns can quell future endeavors. This happens in all walks of life, but let me talk about one that is most common to all. Food. We all need to eat.
My mother was a great cook, but she had a basic menu she adhered too and only made specialties during the holidays. She was very proficient. My mother, my mother-in-law and my granddaughter, Violette all have a graceful way of cooking. I am a very messy cook. No matter how hard I try, I get flour all over the place.
I assisted my mother in the kitchen, but I never learned from my mother. She had no patience with me. I was too awkward, too messy, too slow, too stupid. I may never have learned how to cook if my mother had not died. Then my father said he wanted a pie. I told him I didn’t know how to make a piecrust, only the filling. He said it was time I learned.
Saturday morning I started early on the pie making task. By the time dad got home that night, I had an apple pie ready for dinner. It wasn’t the same flaky crust that mother used to make, but it was edible. I was very proud of myself. Dad pointed out that I had a way to go before I matched my mother’s cooking. Then he found all the wasted pie crust failures I had put in the wood furnace. My proud moment was soon gone.
God blessed me with a wonderful husband who didn’t even “require” me to cook, although I liked to cook. Steve is a great partner and we often planned meals together. As a wedding gift we received a copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. It has a whole section on meal planning: Main Dish; Starchy Complement; Vegetable; Salad; Dessert; Accent. All of the recipes were in the book.
Over the years I became quite accomplished in the kitchen. Yes, I could write a whole book about my adventures. None of them would have happened if not for Steve. He gave me the encouragement I needed to do more, even though neither of us realized it at the time.
When I make something that does not turn out the way I planned it, Steve smiles and says something like “well it was a good try” or “maybe next time you could ____” or “it looked good in the picture.” He never puts me down.
Now that Steve is a diabetic and I am allergic to a bizillion things, I have become an “experimental cook.” Learning to make a sugar free, gluten free, tasty snack bar has been fun and challenging. Not all of my experiments have been exactly what I was looking for, but all have been edible. Some have been delicious. It has been a fun adventure.
The greatest motivator in my life, has always been a kind word or a smile. Sometimes when businesses are looking for ways to motivate or reward employees, they over look the greatest motivation – a kind word.
Do you give negative or positive feedback? How do you motivate others?