February 3, 2008

Process compliments

I got some nice responses from within the SF community on the process praise research by Carol Dweck I have been writing about. I was convinced this research was a very useful addition to the SF approach. In SF, the use of compliments is usually advocated to help clients recognize resources and solutions. Two things are usually recommended: the compliments ABC (accurate, believable and constructive) and the use of indirect compliments (these are questions intended to invite the person to compliment him or herself). But knowhere in the SF literature I have ever found the differentation between trait compliments and process compliments. The responses I have received were largely positive (apart from a few sceptical responses). A few examples:
  • I found the process / trait discussion on the list very informative. I have changed how I look for compliments as a result."
  • This discussion has me reflecting and realizing that from the very beginning of my SF practice, the praising, the "wow" of Insoo, and the hand shaking ofSteve, have made me uncomfortable."
  • I've found Dweck's work to be useful in SF practices as well. It helps me keep my focus on effort, attempts, andsuccess than on static ideas such as ability ("you're smart"). Interesting how we figured out that praising someone's physical appearance("you're pretty) or ability ("you're strong") was not as effective aspraising specific attempts, totally successful or not ("you did a great jobcleaning up those dishes") when it comes to promoting healthyself-esteem...but it took us a long time to apply this to trait/processaround intelligence/effort.
  • Really informative! Thanks! I also followed your link to "learn more"and read that interview. I'll be able to use this with some of myyoung clients
  • Thanks for your info on Process vs Trait Praise. Its set off such an interesting discussion on the List and I've shared the perspective with every group I've introduced to SF ever since.

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