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Respect vs. Ridicule-Feedback that builds up vs. tears down

Respect Versus Ridicule – Giving Feedback That Builds Up Rather Than Tears Down People


Your intention is to motivate a child or employee to do better. You are clear in your mind what you want to achieve and the behavior that you want changed. You expect to be listened to and obeyed! You are right and they are wrong. Someday, they will be grateful that you cared enough to show them what they were doing incorrectly. The only “right way” is “my way.”

Sound familiar? When a situation calls for feedback, we tend to justify our position and come at the situation from a power standpoint. This tends to put the other person in a defensive status and what may have started out as a visit turns into a confrontation, with words and emotions expressed that are not helpful.

Giving feedback in an encouraging, empowering way will assist others to want to do better. Find many more books in the new "77 Ways to Parent Series" at You will be glad you did.


Criticism is Hurtful

Ridiculing someone is to mock by making fun or dismissing them in a contemptuous way. Sometimes the ridicule may be verbal as in a criticism; “You just can’t get this through your thick head, can you?” The disrespect may be done in a completely non-verbal but powerful way; rolling your eyes, crossing your arms and leaning back, smirking or looking away when the other person is talking.

Feedback is Helpful

Feedback is intended to provide helpful information for future decisions and development. If you feel that you need to offer pointers on how something should be done, first ask if they would like feedback. If it is offered without judgment or personal attacks, most people will welcome, or at least receive it.

Using the old sales jargon, you can sell any idea without making the recipient feel badly. “I know you feel that it was a hard assignment. I have felt that way when I was asked to do something for the first time and I didn’t understand the instructions. However, I found that when I went back and read the instructions or ask for an explanation, it was much easier and I was able to understand what the boss wanted and was able to do it.

What’s Right, Not What’s Wrong

If you want positive behavior with your family, co workers and friends, encourage what is good and downplay what is wrong or unacceptable. When you focus on something, right or wrong, you will get more of it. It is called the Law of Attraction.

Verbal vs Non-Verbal Language

Verbal or spoken language is the communication of information. Most people only remember about 20% of what is said. Non verbal or body language is the communication of relationships. People look at your facial expressions to see how you really feel about what you are saying and the person you are saying it to. They listen to your tone of voice to gauge how sincere you are.

If others perceive that you are standing in judgment of them, they will be much less likely to be co-operative and be open to suggestions. When you feel that you must offer feedback, touch them lightly on the back or arm to get their attention, look them in the eye and then ask for permission to share your ideas.

Mutual respect is foundation of strong, healthy relationships

As you work with your relationships, you will see that criticism and ridicule does not give you the positive results you were hoping for. Respect, encouragement and kind feedback is much more effective at motivating people and projects than criticism and ridicule.

Never Just One Way To Do Things
Before you jump in with an opinion, perhaps it is best to remember there is never just one way to do anything. Every problem or situation has at least five different ways to get it done. Are you absolutely sure that your way is best?

(c) Judy H. Wright You have permission to reprint this article in your blog, ezine or offline magazine as long as you keep the content and contact information intact. Thank You.

Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author of over 20 books. If your organization would like to schedule Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer, for a workshop please call 406.549.9813.


Thanks for joining our community of caring parents, family members,coaches, teachers and mentors who want to help raise a generation of responsible adults.

Self Soothing Tool Kit

As an empowerment coach and life educator, I teach families about the importance of self-soothing rituals and calming techniques for each member of the family. When you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed you can more easily relax by finding ways to be kind, gentle and comforting to yourself.

By utilizing the five senses of feel, taste, touch, smell and sound you can build an arsenal of empowering experiences.

Is it is art, a special chair, a clean kitchen, the color on the wall or a rock in your pocket?  What helps you relax when you are “home.”

When I was a young mother trying to do way too much for way too many people, I found rejuvenation and relaxation by smelling the essential oil of lavender. One client, Pat, found that she could calm down by touching a tree in her yard.  Just leaning against it and breathing deeply was enough to move her into an emotionally healthy place and a much more appreciated member of the family.

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Is There A Book Hiding Inside You?

Have you always wanted to write?

Are there ideas churning in your mind waiting for just the right time to get them down on paper? Do you have a unique perspective on a subject or problem facing many people? Do you read a book or article and think, “I could write better than that?” Have you ever said “someday, when I have time, I am going to write a book?”

Perhaps now is the moment for you to put your excuses in the garbage and your fingers on the keys. You will never ‘find’ time; you simply have to ‘make’ time to write. It is important to carve out little bits and pieces of your day to organize the information churning in your head to an outline on paper.

Where to begin?

Although I have started thousands of books in the shower or in my dreams, the first book I ever completed was done in half hour segments over a nine-month period. By getting up at six am every morning and writing on my old typewriter in a corner of the bedroom before the children woke up, I was able to finally pull what was hiding in my brain and put it into book form.

We were living in frigid Glasgow, Montana and you can’t even imagine how tempting those flannel sheets were every morning. But I knew that my soul was hungry to get the information that I had to share in a format that would reach thousands of people and change lives. The thousands of people, mostly relatives, who bought that book turned out to be numbered in the hundreds or less , but I was now an author and determined to write about what I knew best, parenting.

Fiction or non-fiction?

Since 90% of the books sold are non-fiction and most of those are not sold in bookstores, I knew that if I wanted to reach my particular audience, parents and child care providers, I had to come up with an angle. My goal was to teach, not to entertain but I wanted to write what people would buy. Focus groups told me that young parents want small booklets with narrow subjects, lots of bullet points and stories of other families they could relate to.

They did not want psychobabble from so-called experts, statistics or be laden with guilt. They wanted and needed real life experiences from people they could trust. The main information that came out of the focus groups was that the books had to be “hand-around” size and under $10.00. I knew I could sell my product at my parenting workshops and also through local bookstores.

Long or short?

You don’t have to write a 200 hundred page book to be considered an author. How about starting out with an article of 300-750 words on a subject you know about for this magazine? You may want to consider a booklet (6 -50 pages), a special report (3-25 pages) a workbook (7-30 pages), or a book ( 32, 64, 96 or 128 pages). If you want to begin with a personal essay, see my website for a free article on how to write an effective “Slice of Your Life.”

Another viable option is the e-book, which is rapidly becoming the way information is sold and delivered. When I attended a seminar put on by Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup for the Soul
fame, one of the speakers said that e-books typically sell for 4 times what anybody in the right mind would pay for them! The information buyer is impulse driven and ready to pay for a solution to an immediate problem.

What will you write about?

What do you know that I don’t? Pretend I am having tea with you and asking you all about raising Icelandic Sheep dogs or whatever your area of expertise is. Write down every question I ask and leave a large space. Go back later and answer the questions and you have your book outline or chapter thesis. When I learned this formula from Judy Cullins at I was amazed how easy it was to write a short book fast.

Is it worth the effort?

Yes. You have information that people want and need. You know something about a certain niche that only you can teach. This information has been churning in your head and heart long enough. It is time to squeeze out half an hour each morning or evening to put your thoughts on paper. It has never been easier to get your book in print since the advent of self publishing. Wouldn’t you just love to be able to say at your twentieth high school reunion, “I live in beautiful Montana and write books that change people’s lives?”

Trust me; it doesn’t get much better than that.

Write “Your” Slice of Life: 6 Quick and Easy Steps to Writing a Personal Essay

Do you know why the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series is so popular? Aside from terrific marketing and unequaled publicity, readers love the stories and personal essays. They are short, personal and teach a lesson or moral. If you would like to be a better writer of the personal essay, opinion pieces, reports and letters to the editor just follow the suggestions listed below:

1. Be brief. Many written reports or stories are 500 words or less. However, there is a general rule that an essay is between two and twenty typed, double-spaced pages. The most important criteria to remember is that a good piece needs to be an unbroken reading experience. The reader will lose interest if it is too long or wordy.

2. Tell a story. A personal essay is a story that has happened to you or that you know about firsthand. The reader assumes that it is nonfiction and that it will contain details and descriptions with which we are familiar. Structure your story around examples, using a pencil as your paintbrush to evoke images and paint a picture in the reader’s mind.

3. Make a point. You will want to illustrate your point, teach a lesson, explain a specific topic, or even support or criticize an idea. Your goal is to win sympathy or agreement. Do not turn it into a sermon or a soapbox to present the superiority of your ideas by including “shoulds” or “musts” aimed at the reader.

4. Use your senses. Enliven your essay with sensuous detail like how it smelled, tasted, sounded or felt. Make the reader feel like they are seeing and experiencing it through your body.

5. Tell about the ordinary. Personal essays are often best when they describe a common but freely shared experience. It doesn’t have to be about being a survivor of the Twin Towers. Talk about your reaction to 911. Or tell us about watching a sunset or baking bread. When you talk about walking your dog, take us along.

6. Make it engaging. An essay should arouse curiosity about life. Instead of preaching, invite us to consider your point of view by sharing the particular experience that brought you there, describe what happened, how you reacted, and why you interpret your experiences the way you do.

Think about your own interests and areas of special knowledge, activities, skills, attitudes, problems as well as typical obstacles faced in life. Teach us what you gained or lost in your life lesson. It is much easier to be convincing when you can draw from personal and firsthand information. Write it today. Submit it to Chicken Soup for the Soul or your local newspaper and become a published author. There are readers out there who want to share your slice of life.

The Second Half of My Life

Have you ever wondered where destiny would lead you? Have you ever pondered whether the road you are taking would lead to fulfillment and happiness? Unlike so many of my friends and family, I have always had the sure knowledge of what was expected of me.

It was under a shade tree surrounded by my teddy bears and dolls that it came to me- I would have six children, write books that would help families, have the opportunity to speak and teach all over the world, and I would live to be 97 years old. That is pretty heavy stuff for a six year old.

I shared this epiphany with my mother, and she never doubted the message. She continued to encourage and support me through every milestone until she died in my arms at age 93. Even while nurturing my family of six children and following my husband’s military career, I was gathering the skills to prepare me to “do my own thing.” When my children were grown and my parents were gone, I realized that the portion of my life devoted to care-giving and nurturing of my family was complete.

I had 40 years of productive time left on this earth to accomplish all I had set forth to do. However, after carrying so much physical weight on my body for years, I was facing inevitable diabetes and arthritis. My future looked like pain, wheel chairs and doctor’s offices. Unless I took action, medical complications would curtail me from fulfilling my destiny.

I approached this issue as I have the many books I have written. I investigated “one more diet” that I could live with for the rest of my life. I interviewed over 100 men and women across the country that had tried the same diets that didn’t work before finally finding a method that proved successful. My mind was made up. I chose gastric bypass surgery as a one-time solution. On July 30, 2002, I underwent a procedure called laparoscopic Roux-en-Y. This surgery creates a small stomach pouch which holds less than a cup of food. A section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch that absorbs less food than before. Most patients lose over half their excess weight in the first year and a half. Since my operation, I have lost 115 pounds. This is equivalent to the combined weight of my three granddaughters, Amanda, Lexi and Melissa!

For the first time in years, I feel normal and in control when making food choices. Now I am able to enjoy life to the fullest and have the energy and stamina required helping other families raise their standard of living through my books and workshops. Finally, my spirit and body are in sync and I am ready to go forward. I am able to concentrate on my spirit’s promptings during yoga because I am no longer concerned with whether my body will be able to balance, bend or straighten up. For me, this option was a success. It gave me the ability to concentrate again on my writing, and to feel confident when I facilitate workshops or speak to groups. Yes, I have met my goal of being an international speaker and writer!

To travel, teach, and fulfill my destiny I must be a woman of strength, and I must maintain that spirit and energy for the rest of my life. We each create our own reality by our thoughts, actions and belief systems. Hopefully that belief system will include guardian angels and a success team who will guide and assist us in our journey.

I have an obligation to that little girl under the shade tree who understood her life’s purpose half a life time ago. The message that was shared with me and I now share with my children, my grandchildren, and the families that I work with is to listen carefully to the still small voice within that tells us we are important and have something of value to share with the world. The time to share your unique gift may not be now, but it will be someday and so always be in the process of becoming, learning and growing. Be open to possibilities that life and the angels have in store for you, and you will find the right road to fulfillment of your destiny.

This article was written by Judy H. Wright, Missoula, Mt for a book called Women of Strength and Spirit. Soon to be available on her website: To sign up for the free e-zine, purchase books, tapes and workshops on human relations in the journey of life, please go to the website or call

Assume Personal Responsibility? Who me?

As thinking, acting human beings we have the ability to choose our response to events, people and circumstances. We do not become responsible when we mature; we mature when we become responsible.

Psychologists teach that the only reasons people are ever motivated or moved to action is to gain a reward or avoid a penalty. As you teach this principal to the children in your charge be sure to explain what they will gain or lose by the choices they make.

Personal Responsiblity is an ever widening circle of people, places and events affected by our decisions. In the center of that circle, an area which many people never get beyond is:

ME: I am in charge of those things that directly affect me as a person. Examples are: Grooming, nutrition, exercise, education, choosing friends, a mate or a career. My choices might irritate or disappoint others but the consequences will ultimately hurt only me.

The next circle of influence is:

YOU: My actions in this circle affect those I love and care about. I want you to like and approve of me, so I am motivated to do what will please you. I have a responsibility to those who work or live with me to do the things I say I will, accept blame when I am wrong, make restitution, be co-operative, care for my possessions and safeguard other people’s resources. Consequences have a ripple effect on those around me and will affect my daily life.

And as we mature and become more sensitive, we are concerned about:

US: The community within 10 miles of wherever I am standing determines us. Some people and organizations I know, some I don’t know yet, but they are a part of my extended neighborhood. This is the place to practice random acts of kindness, courtesy and service. We are each the representative of the groups we belong to; family, teenagers, school, soccer team etc. The whole may be judged and influenced by our individual actions and role model. The reward may come later in life in the form of recommendations, job offers, networking and a stronger more vibrant community.

The widest rim of the circle is to those we may or may not know:

The Universe: I have a responsibility to the universal family of humankind to make the world a better place. I need to be a part of the solution of preserving the earth, eliminating bigotry, giving service, and treating others, as I would like to be treated. The Universe may never give me a tangible reward, but I will gain an inner reward of doing right and making good choices for the higher good of all. I recognize that I have a responsibility to not only have positive actions, but thoughts, words and intentions towards others and to act with dignity, respect and love.

As parents and leaders we need to give children the opportunity to be responsible as early as possible. Teach the concept of a pause button in order to stop, think and choose before acting. Whenever they are allowed to have a voice and a choice, they will grow up knowing that they have the power to guide the outcome of their life and contribute to the well being of the group.

Assuming personal responsibility is the ultimate goal of growing up. So the answer to the question,Who, me? is Yes, you.

Stress Management Techniques

Self-Care Strategies:

Substantial breakfast daily

Regular sleeping habits (minimum of 7 hours)

No smoking

Moderate use of alcohol, caffeine and other drugs

Minimal intake of sugar & highly processed foods

Maintenance of proper weight

Regular exercise program

Drink much more water than you usually do.

Relaxation Techniques:

Jog in place or do jumping jacks–count to 300

Roll head and torso from side to side

Tense your muscles individually, then relax them

Pull seat of chair for 5-count: repeat with legs xtended

Take a deep breath to count of 4, exhale to 4, and repeat 4 times

Massage your forehead or temples; repeat the word “calm”

Try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Walk off your worry.

Meditate for 20 minutes

Listen to music and close your eyes

Take a power nap. Train yourself to sleep for 12 minutes.

Time Management:

Decide what your time is worth. Hire some tasks done.

Learn to delegate. You don’t have to do or supervise everything.

Set priorities.

Invest your time in the thing that will give you the highest return on your investment.

Plan your day according to energy levels.

Manage the paper tiger. Try to handle paper only once.

New Ideas for Success:
Always have a plan B in mind.

People with options are happier.

Set realistic life goals and work toward them daily.

Let go of uncomfortable situations and toxic relationships.

Practice setting boundaries in an Assertitive but respectful manner.

Assume responsibility for your own choices.

Remember the 4 things that matter most:

Please forgive me, I forgive you, Thank you and I love you.

Give top priority to your primary relationships.

Stressors in life- Stressors in life- Stressors in life- Stressors in life- Stressors in life- Stressors in life

Trying to control things you can’t control—-Not living one day at a time—–Lack of goals

Not clear on your values—-Unrealistic expectations of yourself and others—-Negative attitude and outlook—-Procrastination—-Trying to keep secrets—-Listening to gossip—-Taking on more than you can physically or emotionally handle—-Lack of balance in all areas of your life—-Unhealthy habits—-Changes, either good or bad ones—-Lack of faith in the future—-negative self-talk.

Kids, Chores & More Easy to Use Ways to Get Your Family to Help at Home

Are you a frustrated parent who sometimes finds it is easier to take the garbage out yourself than to keep nagging your son? Do you wonder what kind of employee he will become since he doesn’t always follow through at home? Is it worth the effort on your part to insist that he do his share? The answer is a resounding Yes!

The lessons of life and self that we want our children to learn in our homes are not only the practical ones, such as making a bed, sewing on a button or cooking a meal. They include intangible benefits as well; it is equally important for children to learn the art of cooperation, the satisfaction of finishing a job, the ease in following a schedule and the value of sticking with a task. Children need to learn those lessons in order to cope successfully with the problems and challenges they will face in life.

The seeds of good judgment, thoughtful consideration for others and self-reliance in all areas of dial family life are most easily planted during a child’s pre-school years, but it is never too late. These values can be reinforced until the child leaves home. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach our children to be contributing citizens. Schools, churches, Girl Scouts, YMCA and other youth organizations only supplement the lessons children receive at home.

A positive identity hinges on positive life experiences. If positive experiences take place in a safe and supportive home, then so much the better. The more success a child experiences, the better he feels about himself and his place in the world, and the more courage he has to try new and different things. When we “en”courage our children to contribute to the good of the family, we give them the gift of courage to make mistakes and to take risks. We focus on their assets and strengths in order to build their feelings of self-worth.

As we teach our children to work, the whole family wins. Children feel greater self-esteem, independence and a sense of belonging. Parents feel relieved of some of the work load, and they feel more confident about their child and his ability to function in the real world. Everybody feels more a part of the team, and the garbage gets taken out!

Attaboy! Encouraging Phrases That Build Confidence and Positive Action

Home, home on the range,

Where never is heard

A discouraging word

And the skies are not cloudy all day!

Oh, that would be wonderful but most parents and bosses tend to feel that criticism and pointing out what is wrong will make others want to do what is right. However, people cannot improve unless they feel good enough about themselves to believe they are capable of improvement. An encouraging parent stops using negative comments about a child and uses methods, words and actions that indicate a respect for the child and a faith in his abilities.

Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame often cites a study done by some graduate students who followed a normal group of two-year olds around for a day. These average kids from average homes received 432 negative statements as opposed to 32 positive statements daily. The teachers, aides and other children were constantly saying, “Don’t touch that.” “No, it is done this way” “No, you are not big enough.”

The national PTO (Parent teacher Organization) found the ratio of praise to criticism of school age children to be 18 negative to each positive. It is such automatic action to state things in the negative; we have to learn the words to use in encouraging our children.

Encouragement is the process of focusing on your child’s assets and strengths in order to build self-confidence and feelings of worth.

I like to think of the word encourage broken into “en” courage meaning I am giving you the gift of courage. Inherent in that gift is the idea that it is okay to take risks and perhaps even to fail, but to go ahead and try it anyway. We need to convey though words and gestures that we appreciate their efforts and improvement not just their accomplishments. We need to make sure they understand that our love and acceptance is not dependent on their behavior or winning the prize in soccer.

Here is a list of 15 encouraging words and phrases that will assist your child to keep trying and increase his self-esteem and confidence.

1. “I like the way you handled that”

2. “Wow, you really thought out the solution to that problem”

3. “I have faith in your ability”

4. “I appreciate what you did”

5. “You are really showing improvement”

6. “I know you will figure out a good way to do it next time”

7. “You don’t have to be perfect. Effort and improvement are important.”

8. “I trust you to be responsible”

9. “It must make you proud of yourself when you accomplish something like that”

10. “You are a valuable part of the team”

11. “It is okay to make a mistake, we all do. What do you think you learned from it?”

12. “How can we turn this into a positive?”

13. “I’m proud of you for trying”

14. “I’ll bet by next year you will be able to handle it, you just need to grow a little”

15. “I know you are disappointed that you didn’t win, but you’ll do better next time.”

Good luck in your efforts to be more positive and encouraging to those around you.

Your children, family and employees will be grateful and will rise to your expectations. You do an important work.