George B. Johnston of Enid, Oklahoma, is the safety coordinator for an engineering company, one of his re-sponsibilities is to see that employees wear their hard hats whenever they are on the job in the field.
He reported that whenever he came across workers who were not wearing hard hats, he would tell them with a lot of authority of the regulation and that they must comply. As a result he would get sullen acceptance, and often after he left, the workers would remove the hats.
He decided to try a different approach.
The next time he found some of the workers not wearing their hard hat, he asked if the hats were uncomfortable or did not fit properly. Then he reminded the men in a pleasant tone of voice that the hat was designed to protect them from injury and suggested that it always be worn on the job. The result was increased compliance with the regulation with no resentment or emotional upset.
By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.