How Do I Become an Encourager?
We’ve all met them. We want to be around them. We feel better after we’ve been with them. I want to be one of them.
So, I’ve been asking myself for years: “How I can be a more encouraging person?” I know it’s important for my team, but I also know that I’m not a “natural” at it. I’m the type of musician who’s critical, fights passive-aggression, and wants everything to be perfect. So how do I get from here to there?
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1) If you don’t think or feel something positive, don’t try to say something positive. People are not encouraged by fake compliments.
2) If you do think it or feel something positive, SAY IT! For some reason, this can be really hard to do. It takes humility (you can’t be thinking about yourself when you say something – it takes the power away). It takes intentionality (you have to catch the thought, stop what you’re doing, and make a point to say something).
3) If you think or feel something negative, keep it to yourself unless you have to say it. When do you have to say it? When you can’t work with that person and be yourself. When it’s so obvious to the rest of the team that you need to address it. If you do need to say something, it’s almost ALWAYS something that needs to be said only to that person and in private.
4) Don’t feel like you have to encourage everyone equally. If you do, you’ll end up withholding from those you would otherwise encourage, or you’ll start handing out fake compliments in an effort to include everyone. If you do #2 consistently, you’ll eventually say something meaningful to everyone.
Anyone can be an encourager. And in today’s world of emails, texts, etc., it only takes a few seconds to go ahead and communicate that positive thing you just thought about someone.