I like "redirect instead of correct" because I find it agreeable. But I have a 15 week old kitten whom I have had for 7 weeks and I have not had any success with this.
In all cases where I attempt to redirect (gently without scolding), the behavior ends up being repeated sooner or later. In the one case where I attempted to correct (with scolding) the behavior has never been repeated again.
For example there is a certain shelf my kitten cannot go on and is difficult to make safe for a kitten. It is in an odd place that she has to go out of her way to get to, and it took her a while to even discover it existed. Once she discovered it, she keeps trying to go there. Every time I see her about to go back there I either a) distract her with a toy on the ground or b) pick her up and put here somewhere else. When I do a, once she is done with the toy she goes back. When I do b she immediately heads back to the spot. The more times this happens, the faster she tries to run into the spot, as if it is a game. This happens every day, multiple times, for about 4 weeks with zero progress. It has been a complete failure.
The counterexample is when she tries to jump on my laptop keyboard while I am using it. The first few times this happened, I picked her up and moved her elsewhere. Then she kept doing it with more "passion" so I raised my voice at her. Finally I just hissed at her and shoved her away with some force. She has never once repeated the action since and that was 3 weeks ago. It didn't change her behavior towards me otherwise, she didn't begin to fear me or anything. She's as sweet as ever and when she sits on my chest while I'm lying on the couch with my laptop she is very good, seems happy, and will even resist going after the mouse pointer. It has been a complete success.
In the example above with the shelf it doesn't appear as though she likes the attention; she usually meows in frustration when I pick her up when shes doing this, and if she happens to be on the shelf already when I pick her up, she resists.
With redirect it's as if the more I redirect the action, the more passion she puts in to trying to do it, as if I'm somehow enforcing the bad behavior despite giving her no praise after redirecting. It's as if redirecting only delays the inevitable bad behavior.
All advice I read recommends redirect instead of correct. My own judgment tells me that is the best way to train a pet as well. And it feels better than harsh scolding. I continue to try it, but I have 0% success with redirect and 100% success with scold / correct (although I have only done that once).
Does this training method actually work or is it a result of people not wanting to yell at their pets? How does a cat actually associate being redirected with "don't do this any more"? What am I doing wrong?