I've used the "carrot and stick" idiom. I heard it at work and started using it too. But I am going to stop using it.
Today, I was watching the Tour De France. A commentator said the "carrot and stick" method works. Another said only the "carrot" - the reward - works today. This made me think.
I looked up the history of the phrase. I found out it comes from an old cartoon. In the cartoon, one man leads his donkey with a carrot on a stick. Another man whips his donkey to make it go faster. Winston Churchill also used it to talk about the Nazis.
This made me uncomfortable. The picture of a donkey being tricked or hit is not nice. The link to the Nazis is also bad. I didn't know this when I started using the phrase.
I believe in rewards, not punishments. Punishments don't work. We should see failure as a chance to learn, not a punishment.
So, I stopped using the "carrot and stick" phrase. It's a small change, but a big learning for me. It has made me think more about the words I use.
We should be careful with our words. We should use words that are positive and respectful. Our words show what we think and what we value. That's important.