Your words of encouragement to a loved one, a friend or colleague can mean a lot to them. In fact, in times of despair and gloom, your words may be the most important things for them to cling to. Don’t shy away from expressing hope and inspiration to people around you. You may be in need of them at some point in your life as well.
Kindness starts with one person, in this case two people. I am fortunate to be friends with the husband and wife that took the time and spent the money to have the BE BRAVE, BE KIND sign made and placed near their driveway to encourage their neighbors. Always thoughtful of others, my friend said, “We were so happy how it turned out, the company we hired nailed what I wanted.” With this gesture, they supported both the neighborhood and a grateful small business owner who told them, “You really way overpaid me.” Whether you are a neighbor, parent, friend, co-worker, company executive, or someone that others look up to for any reason, words hold immense power and impact. That’s why it’s critical that your words build others up.
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi
There are plenty of opportunities to provide support to others. Here are a few for you to consider:
- Personal Check-ins
Let others know you care about the things that are important to them. Take the time to learn about their family, interests, fears, challenges, and goals and provide them with the opportunity to talk about it.
Pick a different person every day and send them a quick email or text to check in with them. It’s not as personal as a phone call, but it is the thought that counts. Even if you make an effort to do this just once a week for one person, notice how your connections respond to the encouragement.
- Add Words of Encouragement to Introductions
Undoubtedly, you will have an opportunity to bring people into your circle of friends and influence. When you introduce someone, add a few words of acknowledgement for their abilities, experience and accomplishments. This is an expression of appreciation for the specific value that person offers.
Promote a friend or acquaintance for the things they do. Share how they have helped you or why they are “special”. It’s encourages people when they are personally recognized and supported.
- Celebrate the Important “Moments”
Acknowledge the victories and accomplishments of others with a personal note, a congratulatory phone call or virtual card. Nothing is too small or insignificant. If appropriate, share their success with others.
- Pray for Others
Let people know that you’re praying for them. Tell them what specifically you’re praying for them so they know you understand their needs. It makes your words of encouragement more sincere and concrete. Don’t forget to check back with them to see how they are doing.
- Tell People the Way They Have Encouraged You
Encouragement works two ways. Let them know how much you appreciated their encouragement and how it made a difference in your life.
- Acknowledge Positive Treatment of Others
Recognize someone for the positive way they treat others. If you have noticed that someone has treated others with sensitivity, kindness, compassion, generosity, etc., mention it and let them know you noticed. Not long ago I did this at the hairdresser. I complimented the supervisor on the kind way she interacted with the stylists she was training. I gave her specific examples of the behavior I observed that was impressive to me. My comments took her by surprise, she was thankful I took the time to say something.
- Support Others On Social Media
If you are on social media, use it to encourage others. Whether your connections are celebrating an anniversary, a job promotion, the start of a new business, or dealing with a challenge, take time to comment on their updates with sincere words of encouragement. It’s not the number of people that respond that is important, but, the genuineness of the responses received.
- Encourage Strangers
You can be the one to brighten a person’s day. You never know what is going on in someone’s life. Make a point to positively engage others. Ask them, “How is your day going?” then listen before you respond. A kind word from you at the right time could make a positive impact on the rest of their day…..and yours.
- Demonstrate Acts of Kindness
Extend neighborly kindness and encouragement. Support an elderly neighbor, rake leaves, take their garbage to the street each week and return the empty can after pick-up. Share fruit from your fruit trees and vegetables from your garden.
- Encourage the Youth
Listen to young people, encourage them to talk, and let them know you care about their concerns and value their opinions. We can all learn something from children and young adults.
- Send Gift Cards
For your friends out of work or with small businesses that are suffering, send a special gift card or send customers their way. Make sure the gift card is for something they need or could use during the rough time they are experiencing.
- Create a Culture of Encouragement
At work, at home, even at the grocery store, words matter. Your words can have a profound impact on the people in your life. Something that seems of no consequence to you can lift another person’s spirits.
Let me hear from you. What are you currently doing to encourage others? What are some other ways you can offer encouragement? Who can you encourage right now?
Stay Healthy and Tapped In to What Life Has to Offer…………
Women’s Self-Empowerment Strategist
Author of Empowering Yourself to Embrace Change, Experience Leaves Clues, and the Upcoming Book: TAP IN®: Elevating Women’s Self-Empowerment
A Dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Myra Hubbard is available for Keynote Presentations, Conferences, Retreats, Training, and Consulting engagements. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-481-2268. http://www.tapin2success.com