Positive communication consists of verbal and non-verbal interactions that evoke a clear and confident response. Rewarding healthy behavior helps create a connection between that behavior and a good outcome.  

How to Use Positive Communication as a Reward

Positive communication means adjusting your approach and your choice of language. To achieve positive communication, consider the following:

  • Empathy: Understanding how your loved one feels allows you to genuinely acknowledge their emotions and the hardships they may be facing. Consider phrases such as, “I can imagine how difficult that was for you" when rewarding your loved one. 

  • Motivation: No one enjoys feeling forced. Positive communication uses phrases like ‘can we’ instead of ‘you should’ or ‘you must’ to motivate a recipient and allow them the power of choice. 

  • Assurance: Positive communication lets your loved one know you are by their side to help or to encourage when needed.

  • Optimism: Positive communication empowers a loved one to feel capable of taking on their next challenge. Avoid words like cannot, will not, or unable.

  • Action: Consider nonverbal methods of communication, such as a smile, hug, pat on the arm, or a kiss, as alternative methods that work, as well. 

Why Does Positive Communication Work?

People are more likely to repeat a behavior when rewarded with positive communication. They respond well to clear language, kindness, and an offer to help. By communicating positively, we can create a feeling of trust and understanding.