1. Point out the person’s strengths, not their weaknesses.
2. Point out what was good that was behind a person’s actions, even if the result didn’t work out.
3. Empathize, then endorse and reinforce, repeatedly.
4. Make the person feel normal for whatever they are experiencing.
5. Acknowledge the person, accurately and without puffery.
6. Don’t refer to the failure or error, ever.
7. Tell them who you are for them (a fan, a supporter, a source of business or love, etc.)
8. Don’t compare today’s performance or progress with yesterday’s.
9. Speak to the spirit of the person, not just their actions or achievements.
10. Have others who are always unconditionally constructive with you.
Copyright 1998 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.