Business coach and best-selling author Michael Hyatt shared on his February 12th blog that if you’re a leader and you’re married, speaking well of your spouse is not only important to your marriage but to your role as a leader. He proposes five reasons below that praising our spouses in public is one of the most important investments we can make in our marriage, our family, and our role as a leader.
1. We Get More of the Behavior We Affirm
Ever notice that when we praise someone, they want to repeat the behavior that prompted our praise? It’s just human nature and it is a powerful way to motivate our spouse (and others) when it’s authentic. This works in the opposite too: focus on someone’s negative traits, and you’ll get more of those.
2. Affirmation Shifts Our Attitude
Words are powerful: they can build up or tear down. Instinctively we align our attitude with the words we speak; if we speak well of someone, we will start believing what we say about that person. Yes it’s true that speaking poorly of someone may indicate a deeper problem. But if we focus on the positive with our words, it will eventually bring our attitude into alignment.
3. Affirmation Strengthens Our Spouse’s Best Qualities
Maybe our spouse is strong. Or kind. Or considerate. Or perseverant. Affirm those qualities, and they will get even stronger. Amazing – by affirming our spouse, we help them become even more of the person they are truly capable of becoming.
4. Affirmation Wards off Temptation
The costs of an affair are devastating. Family relationships, friendships, our job, our physical, emotional and financial health, even our spiritual life and ultimate legacy – all can be dramatically impacted. But when others hear through our words that we are happily married, they are less likely to tempt us as it’s clear we’re not interested. Affirming our spouse in public is like a hedge that protects our marriage.
5. Affirmation Provides a Model to Those You Lead
Finally, the words we speak about our spouse in public are a powerful visual of how we will speak about those they lead. When a leader speaks highly of their spouse, their followers are more likely to trust them; such action reinforces and optimizes their leadership role. But if on the other hand they hear their leader complaining about their spouse, they’ll begin to wonder if that leader complains about them behind their backs. The result – a poisoned workplace.
Affirming our spouses in public is an investment that pays big dividends. And in a world where fewer and fewer marriages last, it can be a difference-maker.