–submitted by Janet Piraino
This week, Rotarians were treated to a talk by author and animal trainer extraordinaire, Patricia McConnell. Her talk, titled Treat Everyone Like a Dog, challenged us to apply the science of positive reinforcement used in dog training to elicit desired behaviors from our children, our spouses and even ourselves.
For example, if you resist giving your dog a treat until the 10th time he begs, you are teaching him to beg 10 times to get what he wants. Likewise, if you don’t give in to your child until the 10th time she begs you take her to a concert, you’re teaching her that persistence is rewarded. She also cautioned that anticipation can be more motivating than an actual reward. A “treat” loses its power if it’s offered 100% of the time. If employees receive the same bonus every year, it may lose its motivational impact.
In life, like in dog training, rewarding good behavior, and being conscious of the behaviors we may be unintentionally rewarding, can be the key to getting what we want in life.
If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/ZoMg8l7T61o.