(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
“Facing the consequence” is a phrase which has a negative connotation, doesn’t it? While the word is generally thought of in negative terms, that is an incorrect interpretation.
A consequence means only that something happened. Cause and effect. It’s what-is-so right now. Neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong, a consequence is a result.
The threat of a punishment induces fear. Punishment comes from the ‘other,’ even when the ‘other’ is another part of ourselves. (You’ve had punishment conversations with yourself over some behavior you’ve done, haven’t you?)
Punishment is about fear, guilt, shame, make-wrong, and (an attempt to) control.
Consequence is about learning, awareness, and growth.
Punishment recoils and diminishes. Consequence opens and expands.
Coaching Point: Where may you be implying punishment and could shift to sharing consequence instead?
Copyright 2012 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.