We’re all coming off the holiday season, removing decorations, putting away all the things we dragged out, enjoying our gifts and hoping others enjoyed our gifts.
But with all of the flurry and hustle of the holidays, there is one gift that can be overlooked – a gift that requires no shopping, no website visits, places no burden on the environment and is universally appreciated. You don’t even have to wrap it.
The best aspect about encouraging someone else is that it’s not confined to the holidays. You can encourage someone anytime, anywhere.
If someone has accomplished something, no matter how insignificant, let them know. “Good job” or a high five or a fist bump will show the receiver you noticed. No, this isn’t false praise or making a big deal over nothing – it’s just simple recognition of someone’s effort.
You don’t have to encourage “after the fact.” After a coworker wows the room with his presentation, you could say, “Awesome work with that presentation.” But you can also inspire beforehand with, “I know you’re going to rock this presentation.” That might have a greater impact.
“You need to have a better attitude” or “don’t be so negative” are the types of messages that don’t get received. We don’t always know the back story behind someone’s actions. So, don’t assume.
In work situations, praise those above, even and below your status. If you appreciate something your boss did, say it. Don’t worry about folks thinking you’re a “suck up.” Being thoughtful and saying thanks should bridge all pay grades and social statuses.
If a friend, family member or coworker wants to talk, let them. Often a person can figure out a problem or escape a dark place by talking through it. Your gift of simply listening without judging or racing to offer your “solutions” can be the most helpful gift of all.
There might be times when you have to critique or assess someone’s work or effort. Perhaps their presentation didn’t “rock the room” or they missed an important deadline. Help the person understand that this minor glitch need not derail their goals or mean they are incompetent.
Bill Snyder is one of three active coaches elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He took over the nation’s worst program at Kansas State and built it into a consistent winner. Snyder is quiet, methodical and thoughtful. He has become known for hand writing notes of praise for opposing players – even players who have played key roles in defeating Snyder’s team.
Snyder’s method works on two levels:
That’s important because the note becomes a keepsake the recipient can display for years of inspiration.
Shine Bright and Encourage People
Remember there is power in your actions and impact in your words.
As Maya Angelou said, “People will never forget how you made them feel.”
That brief moment of encouragement or positive reinforcement might echo in a person’s life for decades.
Remember this: Encouragement can be the gift that keeps on giving. And it will make you feel just as good as the person on the receiving end.
Want to learn more about how to inspire others and become a champion in your own life? You’ll love my book, WINolgy – World Class Performance!
Have you given or received the gift of encouragement? Let us know in the comments section below!