I confess that encouragement is my love language. I try to encourage people around me. I know how it helps motivate me and I know the average person likes it too.
This weekend, I tried to encourage my teenaged son who helped run the church sound. He told me that he “wished people wouldn’t compliment him so much”. I explained we’re just trying to encourage him. He quickly said, “I don’t need encouragement like you do”.
I chuckled. He knows me well. But I think everyone needs encouragement. It does need to be authentic, and equivalent to the task (don’t overdo it on a small thing). If someone views it as self-serving, it won’t help. At all.
Here are 3 things you can do today to encourage your staff:
- Take interest in what they’re doing. You can’t genuinely encourage someone who you don’t care about. So seek to discover what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how they’re making an impact. Everyone wants to influence. Find out what that means to them. Then tell them they’re doing a great job at it. Not necessarily now, but later when they’ve truly done a great job. A compliment from someone who listens to you; is worth a lot!
- Brag about them to others when they can hear you. It’s good to brag on someone to their face, but when they hear it said to someone else, it becomes even more valuable. But be genuine and choose the group carefully.
- Listen to their response. Ask them questions like: “How can I be a better support for you?” or “Is there anything I can do to help you today?”. Then listen to their heart. Ask clarifying questions. This alone encourages. You may even want to stop and pray with them about their jobs, their lives, their concerns.
Is it important to encourage? Absolutely. Not for wrong motives. But to fuel the tank of a fellow believer. As a person who loves genuine encouragement, it’s rare. And the only way you can do it well is to practice and get better. Let’s be a generation of encouragement!