Encouragement Part 5

Rudolf Deikurs in his book "Children The Challenge"  says that a misbehaving child is a discouraged child.  I found the idea and the book quite profound and really influenced my thinking and behavior.  I understood a little better some behavior.  I took a few courses and then decided I wanted to learn more so I took a Masters degree from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago.  They offered weekend courses in Toronto taught by clinicians.  I really enjoyed the courses and the material.

Adler coined the phrase, "Cooperation is the iron-clad logic of social living."  We all need to learn to cooperate better.  Competition simply leads to putting the other person down or getting one up on another.  A much better model is that we are all in the same boat working towards a common purpose.  If we are feeling good about ourselves we are much more likely to cooperate.  In other words, the more encouraged we are the more likely we will not try to put the other person down. 

That is why I consider encouragement of ourselves and others the foundation of a good organization.  A key part of feeling encouraged is to feel significant.   We feel significant when we are part of a group and the group is mutually supportive of each other.  Much of this programming develops at an early age as we develop a model about who we are and how we fit into the world.  However circumstances and group support can really help our ability to cooperate. 

A feeling of being a part of a group can really raise a persons ability to contribute and cooperate.  The way we communicate and support each other can be very important.  Of course we come to a group with all kinds of preconceived notions and experiences.  Nobody is perfect.

That was one of Rudolf Driekurs key teaching was the courage to be imperfect.  He recognized that we always feel less than perfect and want to become more.  If we let that discourage us we become discouraged.  If we recognize it as an opportunity for growth, we can encourage ourselves.

We all need to be kind and compassionate to ourselves and then we can be kind and compassionate to others.   

  1. Jim Reply

    There is a famous talk that Driekurs gave one evening after making a mess of a counselling demonstation in the afternoon. It was repeated in his biography called “The Courage to be Imperfect” which was also the subject of the talk.
    It is a very inspirational piece. Must try to find it.

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