By: Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM
My greatest joy, as a teacher is to help my students discover their abilities and work towards their goals.
Many years ago, I received a call from a mother of a high school student. She said, “My husband’s employer recommended you as a violin teacher for my son. I would prefer a man to teach him, but will give you a try. My son is lazy and stupid.”
I replied, “Please do not talk that way about your son in front of him or to others.”
I agreed to teach this young man, provided that she would be encouraging to her son.
A young man with multi colored hair, an earring, and strange looking clothes walked in to his first violin lesson. His head was down, and he looked depressed.
We began working on scales, an etude, a solo piece, and the orchestra audition materials for the state orchestra auditions. He was a very talented young man and I told him so during our first lesson and all the lessons that followed. The honest sincere words that I spoke to him inspired and motivated him to do his best.
When it was time for the next lesson, a completely different young man walked eagerly up my walkway. He was neatly dressed, had his head up and wore a big smile. He took pride in his work and in himself. Each week I saw a transformation in him.
It was our fifth week of lessons, our final lesson before the state orchestra auditions. I told him how beautiful his playing was and what a good job he would do on the audition. Preparation makes all the difference! The honest sincere words that I spoke to him made him blossom like a flower.
He called me a few days after the audition and said with great pride, “I am the Concertmaster of the orchestra. There were over 40 people trying out and I won first place.” He said this with a smile on his face over the phone.
I told him how proud of him I was and that I knew he would win because of his hard work and determination. His Mother called and said, “Even though you are a woman, you did a good job with him!”
I bit my tongue, but thanked her for the compliment.
This young man changed his attitude and worked hard because of the “honest sincere praise” I gave him at every lesson. He went on to college after he graduated at the top of his high school class.
Do you remember a teacher, coach, friend or family member who complimented you? That compliment inspired and motivated you to work harder to do your best!
Have you ever mentored or coached someone and watched him or her succeed? How did you feel when they were successful?
I bet you felt proud and happy for their success and you walked a little taller that day!
Zig Ziglar, motivational expert and mentor in his book, ” See You at the Top” read the following story as a young salesman. It “made a lasting impression” on him. A young woman had sung since she was a young girl. She “made her musical debt in a church cantata. She had a beautiful voice and a great career was predicted for her. As she grew older,” she sang more concerts at local functions. Her family recognized her need for “professional voice training”.
Her family found a well-known singing teacher who told her every little thing she did wrong. As time passed the young women grew to admire her teacher and married him. Fewer and fewer concerts came her way as she had lost confidence in her gift of singing. Her teacher and husband had broken her confidence. When he passed away she was no longer singing at all.
Several years later she began to date a salesman and she would sometimes hum a tune while she was with him. He said, “Sing some more, Honey. You have the most beautiful voice in all the world”.
The salesman was not an expert, but he knew what he liked and gave her “honest sincere compliments.” She gained confidence from the salesman’s “honest appreciative words” and felt her joy of singing return to her. She was asked to sing in a few concerts. Once again with her confidence in hand, she resumed her career and married her salesman.
Zig Ziglar said, “She married the “good finder” and went on to a successful career. The salesman’s praise for her was totally honest, sincere, and much needed. In fact a sincere compliment is one of the most effective teaching and motivating methods in existence.”
Do you remember a teacher, coach, friend or family member who complimented you? Do you remember the compliment?
Coach John Wooden in his book, “Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success Playbook” tells the following story: “When I was a young boy, I was at a gravel pit with my father and a young man. They had a team of horses and were attempting to pull a load up a steep road. The young man driving the horses was loud and abusive. In response, the animals were agitated, worked against each other and couldn’t pull the load. With a gentle voice and gentler touch, my Dad calmed the horses and walked them forward with a load.”
Coach Wooden “learned two important lessons that day.”
1) “Gentleness is a better method of getting cooperation than harshness.”
2) “A team can accomplish much more when it works together than individuals can when they work alone.”
Like all living creatures, the horses needed kindness and gentleness and honest sincere appreciation to move the heavy load. Remember this when you are developing others and when you are working on your own self-development!
Zig Ziglar shared the following story about a “beggar selling pencils” in New York. A “businessman dropped a dollar into the cup” of the beggar and rushed to board “the subway train”. The businessman suddenly turned back, before entering the train, and went back to the beggar selling the pencils. He “took several pencils from the cup”. The businessman apologized and “explained that in his haste he had neglected to pick up his pencils and hoped the man wouldn’t be upset with him”. He said, “You are a businessman just like me. You have merchandise to sell and it’s fairly priced.” The businessman then went to catch “the next train”.
A salesman “neatly dressed” came to a social function and introduced himself to “the businessman”. The salesman said, “You probably don’t remember me and I don’t know your name, but I will never forget you. You are the man who gave me back my self-respect. I was a ‘beggar’ selling pencils until you came along and told me I was a businessman.”
Zig Ziglar said, “The greatest good we can do for anyone is not to share our wealth with them, but rather to reveal their own wealth to them. It’s astonishing how much talent and ability rests inside a human being.” Help others to discover their abilities.
When you mentor or coach others and they become successful how do you feel?
Doesn’t it make you happy and proud that you helped them become successful?
What are 3 ways you can empower others and yourself to be successful?
1) Each morning begin with a positive attitude, smile, and start your day by saying positive motivational things to yourself.
2) Give an “honest sincere compliment” to inspire, motivate, and encourage someone else each day!
Be like the businessman who told the “beggar selling pencils”, “You are a businessman just like me. You have merchandise to sell and it’s fairly priced.” Encouraging words changed the way the beggar saw himself.
Zig Ziglar said, “A sincere compliment is one of the most effective teaching and motivating methods in existence.”
3) John Maxwell says, ” Make people development your priority.” Help others to discover their abilities and you will discover yours too! Building confidence in the student and the singer’s abilities made all the difference in the world to them. Their futures changed for the better.
Start your New Year off right by doing two things: 1) begin your day with a positive attitude, smile, and say positive motivational things to yourself. 2) Then give an “honest sincere compliment” to inspire, motivate, and encourage someone else each day!
Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an award winning teacher, Amazon.com Best Selling Author, John Maxwell Team Member, Certified World Class Speaking Coach, sought after speaker, business owner, and concert artist. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Businesses”. Her innovative observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful. She writes a monthly newsletter “Madeline’s Monthly article & Musical Tips Blog” and a monthly radio show “Madeline’s One Minute Musical Radio Show”. Her book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” is available on Amazon or Kindle. Contact Madeline Frank for your next speaking engagement at email@example.com
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