Marshall B. Rosenberg

“Two Questions That Reveal the Limitations of Punishment

Two questions help us see why we are unlikely to get what we want by using punishment to change people’s behavior.
The first question is: What do I want this person to do that’s different from what he or she is currently doing?
If we ask only this first question, punishment may seem effective, because the threat or exercise of punitive force may well influence someone’s behavior. However, with the second question, it becomes evident that punishment isn’t likely to work: What do I want this person’s reasons to be for doing what I’m asking?”


Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg
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