I'm too busy, I don't have time, it doesn't matter what I say, it's their job to do it so I'm not saying thank you. These are all statements that you have probably said at some time in your life when asked if you had encouraged someone for doing something good.
I recently attended a workshop on the "art" of encouraging people when you observe they've done something well. It was informative and very enlightening. When you say good job, or way to go, it makes the recipient of the compliment feel valued and appreciated. Even though many of us don't walk around with a T-shirt that says, "Encourage Me," it feels good to be recognized for excellent work.
I am a student of the philosophy that a kind word or gesture towards another goes a long way. I truly believe in that. When I attended this workshop, I learned there are others who realize the positive impact of activating this philosophy in their lives.
Many will say they do well because it's their personal goal to do so. Encouragement doesn't necessarily make them work harder or longer. I respect that. But then, there's a group of people who say a pat on the back and public acknowledgement of their efforts motivates them to do even better. It makes them feel good about what they've done and also who they are. It's a wonderful affirmation that their input matters and people recognize that.
So, I encourage you to take a few seconds and encourage the heart of another person. It could be a co-worker, a friend or a family member. Maybe it's the server who did an excellent job bringing you your meal, the mailman who delivers your packages with a smile, or the kid who always shovels your walkway without you having to ask. I'm sure you can identify a person who deserves some encouragement.
Now here's the beauty of this practice. You think by encouraging the person it's only the recipient who walks away with a great feeling. But when you see their response to your kindness, it will make you feel just as good. Why? Because you did something that had a positive effect on another person. All it costs is a little bit of time and the desire to want to be kind and thoughtful.
I will caution you not to say things you don't mean. If it doesn't come from a genuine space then stay silent. Most people can pick up on it and it will make them feel like your being fake and phony. Self-recognition should never be a motivator to encourage another soul. If you do it from the heart, it can't help but motivate the spirit.
Encourage the heart. Trust me, it goes a long way!
Drop me a line on ways you encourage others. firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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