I’d like to encourage President Obama — and all spouses — to remember the benefits of speaking well of your spouse in public. Michael Hyatt has written that leaders, in particular, should do this for five reasons:
You get more of what you affirm. Most folks, when praised, want to repeat the behavior that caused the affirmation. Likewise, when we complain or are negative, we tend to get more of that behavior. This tends to hold true with both spouses and children; we tend to get the behavior that we focus on and speak about.
Affirmation shifts your attitude toward your spouse. Most people have an inner drive to align their actions with their words. If we start speaking well of someone, we tend to start believing what we say and relating to him or her accordingly. This can effect great change in both the affirmer and affirmed.
Affirmation helps strengthen your spouse’s best qualities. Encouragement is one of the most powerful tools we have in our bag as leaders for helping other people become what God intended.