Archive for July, 2014

Positive, negative, positive communication

I was just speaking to one of the guys at Terem about the positive, negative, positive combo in communications. Or as an old footy coach used to call it, a shit sandwhich. A bit of bad stuff surrounded by two good things.

It is particularly effective when giving feedback, dealing with tough issues or even putting together a document with no difficulty surrounding it.

When delivering a difficult message I try to find something positive to start with. It has to be genuine as it is easy to pick up on someone taking this approach. Then I’ll state the negative thing that has to be said. Then finish off with something positive. Again, something genuinely positive.

You’d be surprised how many genuinely positive statements one can make. And you don’t have to be offering a box of chocolates or free money. You can often re-state positive things you’ve said previously to re-enforce them.

This approach can and should be applied to “normal” documents or discussions. For example, if you’re working through an agreement to do something for someone, place positive things first (e.g. things you will do for them), place the not so positive things for them (what they need to do for you in return) and then finish with something else you will do for them or some benefit that will go to both of you.

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Kids and lemonade stands

As my wife and I were driving we passed two girls selling cup cakes on the side of the road. We immediately turned the car around and pulled up out the front. We were the first customers of the day, we bought two cup cakes. The young girls donated the money to charity.

I love this sort of thing, makes me well up inside. Kids showing initiative, learning how the world works by making, buying and selling.

I’m reminded of a time a few years back, sitting on my balcony watching another set of kids selling lemonade. A man in a $250,000+ car pulled up and started offering the kids sales and marketing advice as well as complimenting them. I can only imagine the impression this left upon the young lads.

Participating in a market is a great thing to be undertaking at such a young age. When ever I see it happen, I go out of my way to make sure its a positive experience for kids. 


Scott Middleton
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