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Gary Smalley’s daughter Carrie came to him one day and said, “Dad, I know that you love us and I know that you love Michael (one of his sons), but you are always picking on Michael, you are constantly criticizing Michael. Dad, what you are doing is like someone who is locked in a room and someone comes in to talk to them and all that person does is criticize the one locked up in the room. The one locked up is Michael and you are the one who comes in and criticizes and picks on his faults. Dad, Michael is saying that you are so discouraging to him that he doesn’t want to be around you anymore.” So Mr. Smalley goes to Michael, his son, and says, “Michael is this true what Carrie is saying?” Michael said, “Yes, Dad it is true.” Gary Smalley said, “Have you heard enough criticism from me?” Michael said, “Dad, I’ve heard enough criticism from you to last my entire life.” After this, Gary Smalley paid Michael $5 every time he criticized him. It gave him motivation to say only encouraging words.

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