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  • Writer's pictureJim Donaher

The Secret Weapon - Encouragement

As we proceed through our days, we encounter a lot. Negativity is lurking around every corner, waiting to smack you in the face. 'Constructive' feedback, scorn, derision, gossip, criticism, ridicule. Subtle, blatant and everything in between, there is no shortage of environmentally generated misery.

So what can you do? It is nice to have a 'positive attitude' and to smile a lot. Being an example of how you'd like others to be is important and it helps a lot.

The next step, though, is even more powerful. That step is to encourage someone else. It's amazing how a little encouragement can transform my mood, my outlook and how I interact with others. In this, I don't believe I'm unique.

So what does encouragement look like? Here are a few examples, and there are literally millions more:

  • Say, 'Hey, you are really good at _____'

  • When you meet someone, smile and nod if you recognize their name as someone you've heard good things about

  • Reassure someone that they did a good job in a tough conversation

  • Reinforce someone's confidence by confirming their skill

  • Thank someone for helping you, even if they just listened to you vent

  • Compliment someone's selflessness and unsung heroism

  • Start a sentence to someone with, 'I like the way you...'

  • Say, 'I'm impressed with the way you...'

  • Tell someone you're proud of them

  • Assure someone that 'this too, shall pass' no matter what it is

  • Congratulate someone on an achievement, even when no one else does (in fact, especially when no one else does)

  • Remind others to compliment/appreciate what someone has done.

Get in the habit of doing these things. Over time, you will have spread a lot of encouragement, and caused a lot of good things to happen that might not have, otherwise.

And for reading this, and for considering how you might encourage others, I thank you and appreciate your kindness and your great intentions.

Have a blessed day.

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