The Art of Encouraging Others
We all know that words matter! Encouragement touches the heart and shows people you care. Knowing how to encourage people is essential to being part of a team, family, group and community. It’s a way of recognizing someone who is doing their best.
The most effective parents, teachers, leaders and companies know that spending more time validating and less time correcting yields more immediate and lasting positive results. While one-on-one feedback is motivating, publicly acknowledging a person’s contributions can be even more powerful. Praising a person in front of their peers boosts their self-confidence to new levels, and encourages them to continue to produce quality work.
There are several methods of encouraging others:
- 1. First, remind them of how they’ve succeeded in the past. A teacher saying, “You did a great job on your last paper” as she’s making the new assignment is simultaneously boosting her students’ confidence and encouraging them to excel again.
- 2. When people are facing a particularly challenging situation, help them break it down into manageable steps. Congratulating them as they complete each part motivates them to continue, and helps them maintain a positive attitude as they forge ahead.
- 3. Never diminish the importance of another person’s feelings. Saying things that minimize their apprehension, like, “It’s just not that big a deal,” can make them feel angry, betrayed or panicky. Too frequently the cause of an employee getting discouraged is she or he feels they’re out of the loop, or don’t really understand what’s being required of them.
- 4. Listen to their concerns without judgment, and let them know you respect their input. Then, clarify the goals, and together, come up with a practical and realistic plan to make it work.
Sometimes the most effective encouragement can be a little compassion and empathy. Whether it’s a teen trying to drum up the courage to ask his crush on a date, or a colleague who’s swamped with projects, just taking the time to listen sympathetically may be all they need to move ahead with renewed confidence.
In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven. As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how to achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Stay safe, and be well. Above all, embrace positivity!