My wife and I spent some time yesterday afternoon with a professional photographer so we could have some maternity photos taken. We took her advice on what to wear, made sure to turn up on time, followed her directions for poses and fun time doing it! The photographer mentioned to us a couple of times that we were really easy to work with, and that we might not even need all the time allocated to get the photos she needs. My own internal reaction to that was, "Of course we're getting praise, we're super easy to work with. After all, we're doing what we're told. Plus, I am pretty great at most things, and I deserve praise for that!" (and clearly modest too! :P) My wife's reaction was a little different though.
Her internal reaction was to question the praise. Is that something she says to everybody to make them happy? Why are we easy to work with? She wanted more evidence before she could take it as a truthful bit of feedback. It was an accurate reflection of how our motivations differ - I'm an "obliger" while she's a "questioner" according to Gretchen Rubin's 4 Tenedencies. If you haven't heard of the 4 Tenedencies before, it's a way of categorising people based on how they are motivated.
Knowing how I'm motivated has been a great help with understanding how best to achieve my goals. As an Obliger, I need to be held accountable, so having a deadline, progress chart, or a buddy to report to has been a great way for me to build some productive habits. For example, I've used a whiteboard on our fridge to mark off when I've done a certain task each day knowing that it's easily seen by others.
I've had some of my students take the quiz before to find out which group they belong to in order to help me better understand how to structure their learning and the type of homework they'd like to receive - for example, some of my students like a lot of structure in their practise, while others are happier to self-direct. If you'd like to take the quiz, you can do so here: Gretchen Rubin's 4 Tenedencies Quiz
As to why I figured I deserved praise for minimal effort - well that's an entirely different can of worms that also makes it more difficult for me to learn new habits!
Things I've been watching/listening to this week: