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Fundamentals of Sales Management: For the Newly Appointed Sales Manager by Matthew Schwartz

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The Core Concepts of Reinforcement

Now that you have some basis for how people learn best, it is important to couple this with behaviors that promote and support the training. Behavioralist B.F. Skinner (1904–1990) was a pioneer in the subject of reinforcement, and his theories form the basis of much of the work and techniques used today.

Reinforcer. Any stimulus affecting the individual that he seeks to experience.

Aversive Stimulus. Any stimulus affecting the individual that she seeks to avoid.

In the work setting, for most people, reinforcers and aversive stimuli usually come from the behavior of other people. Examples of this are as follows:

ReinforcerAversive Stimuli
PraiseInconsiderate treatment
RecognitionReprimands
AttentionBeing ignored ...

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