As a community of purpose-driven business leaders, we’re rejuvenated by the spirit and power of Givers Gain®. Most of the time, we think about giving in terms of giving referrals or giving testimonials. To be sure, these are wonderful ways to give because you’re giving someone the gift of opportunity. Chances are that you have also experienced Givers Gain® in a meaningful way that had nothing to do with business – I know I have. When that happens, it makes us all want to work harder than ever to give more to others. That’s the wonderful thing about the spirit of Givers Gain® – it is a self-replenishing ocean of energy to help others. And, in the act of giving, our lives become richer, and more meaningful.
But as busy business leaders, we are caring for employees, customers, and suppliers. We’re also caring for our kids, spouses, and parents. And we’re trying to contribute to our community as well. How can we give more when it seems like we have less time than ever before? Here’s one way: Encouragement.
When is the last time you reached out to a friend or colleague just to let them know that they’re doing a great job? I know in my busy-ness, I don’t do it nearly enough. And I’m not sure why – it doesn’t take much time, it costs nothing, and giving someone else encouragement actually makes me feel great. And I know how much I appreciate it when someone reaches out to me with positive and motivational feedback.
When done well, encouragement is powerful, and can be life-changing. It can eliminate self-doubt and enable someone to be their “best self”. It really is a beautiful thing. How many times have you been at a crossroads when just a bit of positive reinforcement from someone close to you helped you move forward?
Here are 5 ideas to consider when providing encouragement:
Make it a Habit
- Have you considered encouraging one person every single day for a month? It may then become a habit that you continue for a lifetime.
Encouragement can build a Bridge
- While encouragement from close family and friends may be most common, don’t miss out on an opportunity to provide motivational support to someone that you may not know as well. It can be a great opportunity to build a new friendship.
“Specific is Terrific”
- This popular saying in BNI applies to encouragement as well. The more specific you can be, the more impactful and memorable the inspiration that results from your remarks will be.
Start from the Heart
- When giving encouragement, consider starting with how someone’s efforts made you feel (ex. happy, confident, fulfilled) instead of the literal impact of their effort (ex. we hit a sales goal, etc). The emotional connection from sharing how their efforts made you feel will be far more lasting and impactful.
Timing is Everything
- When someone is having a particularly challenging time – either personally or professionally, that’s when they may be most open and appreciative of heartfelt encouragement.
As a global community of business leaders, we have the great opportunity to harness our collective skills, experiences, ideas, and resources to do immeasurable good in the world. As we do so, let’s start by providing something that is both simple and powerful – encouragement. When done well, giving the beautiful gift of encouragement can change the lives of those around us for the better. Why not start today?