1. Show real interest in the person. Listen to what they are saying. Be interested in what is happening in their life. Let them know you care. Be more interested in them than yourself.
2. Concede what’s important to them. When you acknowledge what’s important to others, you offer a form of verification and support about who they are and what they’re doing. Your showing genuine interest in them instead of telling them what your are interested in encourages them. Make it about them, not you.
3. Say “congratulations”. These magical Words of Encouragement at the right time can make all the difference between “keep going” and “give up”. Congratulate them on a job or task well done. Do not trivialize their achievements.
4. Be there for them. Sometimes the “ministry of your presence” is all they need. Just being there for them is encouraging. Keep the focus on them, not yourself.
5. Say “Thank You”. This is common courtesy. It is good manners. People like a little reward after hard work. I have done it for years. A simple thank you lets others know what they have done is worthwhile and meaningful to you.
6. Return the favor. If someone does something nice for you, a great way to show your appreciation is simply to return the favor. It will both shock and encourage them. Note: don’t ever do something expecting someone to return the favor for you.
7. Answer with something unexpected. I have a phrase I have used for years … nice them to death! Even when others let me down or they know I know they “dropped the ball” I don’t tell them so, I usually pick the ball up for them. It is amazing the long-term results this can have in encouraging someone.
8. Be a “good finder”. A good finder is a person who looks for the good, not the bad in a person or a situation. An example would be if a person is always late to meetings, but makes in on time to your meeting instead of saying “About time you attended a meeting on time” say “I really appreciate the extra effort you made to get here on time” without any reference to their normal tardiness.
9. Smile. Have you ever experienced the magic of a simple smile? Have you ever noticed how when you smile at someone they smile back? Share an encouraging smile.
10. Offer to lend a hand. You can offer to lend a hand. Sometimes a person feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and no one cares. Show them you really care. You can be there for them.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Bewildering Stories and Beyond Imagination. When not writing each morning at his favorite coffeehouse, he supports his writing, reading, and book reviewing habit working as an IT application support analyst. He is a former Captain in the US Army. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. You can visit him at http://www.jimmiekepler.com.