Everyone has a story like this to use as an anchor they can rely on to catch someone doing something right.
I coached a 9 year-old boys soccer team this past fall. It was joyous to shout-out to one of the unsure, lesser-skilled players – “hey, you ran to an open spot and asked for a pass. Do it again!” It was most interesting to see how much a few words propelled a player like this into repeating a behavior. This player in particular went from loathing soccer to “just wanting to be on the field wherever needed.”
Inversely, think about how much confusion, inaction and loss of confidence you have to untangle, remotivate and rebuild because of a lazy, selfish moment of using negative words.
Adults in the workplace are kids with more experience.
This thought process works with 9 year olds as well as 40 year olds.