A couple months ago I listened to a lecture given by Larry Gelwix, a determined coach spotlighted in Forever Strong (read about my experience here). He gave a lot of advice, and there were a few things that stood out to me.
Larry explained that there are two types of leaders: multipliers and diminishers. Multipliers are leaders who bring their team up and give positive motivation, while diminishers intimidate others and give negative feedback.
“There is a difference between multipliers and diminishers: Diminishers get 20 to 50% of what their employees can give. Multipliers get 70 to 100%.”-Larry Gelwix
I don’t know about you, but that makes a lot of sense.
This advice has been on my mind this past week as I have reflected upon one of my teachers. Teachers are big leaders in a teenager’s life. I’ve noticed that over the year, this teacher’s class has slowly deteriorated into a unmotivated class that sits in idleness.
He’s noticed it too, and he constantly reminds us, but what I realized is that it’s not our fault that we are failing; rather, it is the teacher that is causing us to fail.
This teacher is a diminisher. He is constantly tearing us down, getting disappointed, and telling us how incompetent we are. He gives us many lectures about how college will never be as forgiving as he is, and how we need to just deal with it.
But like Larry said, there is no such thing as negative motivation.
I realize that the lack of motivation was partially our fault in the beginning, but the level of depression, fear, and unwillingness now is so high that there is only one explanation.
Let me give you an example. This class is a difficult class that has many kids on different levels of learning; except the teacher does not realize this. He teaches higher above most of the students’ comprehension and favors those who are fast and experienced learners.
Critique is important in the learning process, but this teacher goes past the limit. He criticizes every aspect and ridicules those who sincerely try their best.It has come to the point where no one is willing to try to learn because they are too afraid of the teacher’s remarks.
Because of the way this man has acted, no one cares anymore. That class is a waste of time to me. How is it possible that one could diminish others so much that they have completely given up hope?
I don’t blame this teacher for what he has done, I pity him. He has let his own self-determination leave his grasp and therefore doesn’t care himself. I hope, that next year when he starts anew at a different school that he will rediscover that motivation.
On the other hand, some teachers can be multipliers. I don’t have many teachers that I admire and love, but my history teacher is definitely one of them. She has a love for history, and shares with her students that love by treating us as equals. She respects us and our willingness to try. The only rule she has in her room is to be kind to each other.
She doesn’t tear us down, and she tries her best to understand our attempts at understanding concepts in history. She tries to never say no to a student.
Unlike the diminisher’s class, her class gives 80-100%. Even though the AP history class is much more challenging and time-consuming then the other class, we do the work with way more enthusiasm and motivation.
There is a big difference between diminishers and multipliers. Which one will you choose to be?