Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rewarding Negative Behavior

Despite all of the grand talk about rewarding accomplishment and merit, in far too many instances the louts get the prize.

Sadly, they are often inadvertently abetted by decent people. Here are a few of the ways in which negative behavior is rewarded:

  1. The employee who pesters the boss for some sort of special privilege is finally granted it in the name of peace.

  2. The negotiator who makes outrageous demands is rewarded with concessions instead of refusals or counter-demands.

  3. The attorney who doesn't abide by the meeting terms that were previously agreed upon is allowed to reshape the nature of the meeting.

  4. The customer who behaves rudely is given better treatment than those who are polite.

What should happen, of course, is that conditions should worsen, not improve, when a person behaves unacceptably. The best that the offending side should hope for is no change, not a better deal.

Take reasonable people for granted and reward the louts and you'll get more of the latter and fewer of the former.

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