Over the last several days, I have been running across the theme of encouragement. John Maxwell’s slim volume on mentoring and a message from the pulpit by Rev. Kregg Gabor are two examples that come to mind. A quick Google search for quotes about encouragement delivers hundreds of good ones in a second. Here is one that I want to share, and I promise to keep my comments it brief.
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you have ever hit a tough time in your life, whether in your career, your personal life or in some other pursuit, you know that adversity can sometimes shut you down. We all know that high achievers learn from these challenges, adapt and move on to greatness. Some of us could use some help in getting past the challenge, and that is where encouragement comes in.
If you work with others in any capacity – and this includes most everyone – you are in constant relationship with others. How do you choose to engage in that relationship? Are you a negative force, providing a constant stream of criticism and doubt? Or are you one who affirms and encourages, giving others the fuel that they need to drive through challenges? To leverage Goethe’s quote, are you a corrector or an encourager?
The great thing about encouragement is that it is free to give, gives energy to both the giver and the receiver, and creates a virtuous cycle in which everyone helps others achieve amazing things. If you are in a formal leadership position, your free giving of encouragement is even more valuable and powerful. I have seen people nearly vibrate with excitement from a few positive words from a senior leader. Can you do this? Yes!
Here is my question for you: When have you received encouragement that got you through the tough times? What did the other person say? How big a difference did it make to you? We would all enjoy hearing your story.