Wednesday, October 19, 2011

5 to 1 Rule

I found an interesting article by Walter over at about negativity being more hurtful than we ever thought.  Walter discusses that there must be five positive feedback to each negative feedback or the relationship will fail!!

I was shocked that the results were a failed relationship.  Granted there will still be some sort of a relationship but it won't be effective.  It may just be a relationship on the outside but not on the inside.  Leadership skills can't be learned.  Testimony can't be shared.  Friendship will be over when they are no longer a Scout.

I had many different kinds of Scout Leaders as a Scout.  One was a McDonald's milk shake kind of leader.  Every week, we would climb into his big, red Bronco and drive to McDonalds and we would order a milk shake.  We would then sit in the parking lot and talk.  Maybe my Mom called him and asked him to just talk to me.  Granted on the outside this must look like he not only was violating YP (don't think it was around back in 1991) but also a bad leader.  But I think he cared about me.  My Dad was in the military and always gone from home on temporary duty assignments and an 18 month tour in the Azores.  Maybe instead of helping me with a merit badge, he was working on our relationship.  Maybe he was helping me clear my head and voice my frustrations.  I can't remember him ever chastising me.  He showed he cared.  Whenever you are Brother Funk (Denver, CO), I thank you.  You have helped determine who I am as a Scout leader.  I think of your example often.

As another example, in the same unit ~ I went on my first winter campout from moving from the desert.  I was poorly equipped.  I wore jeans.  It had snowed.  My jeans melted the snow and then froze.  I had a horrible tent.  It was a real eye opener for me.  When I was on verge of hypothermia, I freaked out.  I was yelling and screaming about being cold asking for help!  I couldn't get warm enough.  I was a Scoutmaster's nightmare.  In the midst of my fit, my Scoutmaster slapped me in front of all the other boys.  It was humiliating.  I deserved the slap.  I still believe that today but to have it done in front of my peers instead of pulling me aside to talk to me, I will never forget.  In the end, my Scoutmaster ran me to the cabin, threw my clothes in the dryer, me in the warm shower and got me warmed up again.  He was so condescending to me while we were at the cabin.  Instead of seeing it as his failure to help me prepare for the winter campout, it was all my fault (and to a certain extent it was my fault).  I made it through the rest of the campout OK.  I got better equipped quickly for the next campout.  I am sure wherever that Scoutmaster is today, I was one of his worse memories.

Both memories now I see for good and bad.  Both experience are quick to my memory as both ends of leadership scale.  I appreciate both experiences though.  I appreciate the positive more than the negative.  In the end, I am better for having experienced both!  The positive stuck with me just like the negative did.  I remember the positive more quickly.

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