We all remember our favorite teachers. Some teachers stand out in our memories—a special kindergarten teacher, a particular coach, or a revered mentor. What sets them apart from other educators, coaches, and advisors? What unique talent makes us remember them so fondly and vividly?
They encouraged us. They believed in us, and by doing so, they made us believe in ourselves. They got involved, they invested in us, and they saw the best in us. They made our fight their fight. Often, something so beautiful and so powerful is so simple!
People do better when we encourage them. By showing that we value them, they place more value on themselves and their actions. Encouragement, like praise, must be earned. It must be sincere encouragement, honest and appropriate. By giving it out sparingly, but at just the right moment, it can be an incredibly powerful tool to motivate others. Encouragement can be an important mechanism in overcoming almost any obstacle. It also can be contagious. People who we encourage, who become more positively oriented and confident, are more likely to encourage others. Thus, encouragement is a large part of the culture of confidence and of a positive lifestyle.
One thing the veterinary profession has taught me is that no one does it on their own. We have parents and grandparents to thank for our success, along with mentors, spouses, and positive role models who believed in us and made us believe in ourselves. Become more aware of those around you, pay attention to their mood and behavior, and find ways every day to encourage others. Encouraging others is a great investment. It costs very little. However, by believing in others we learn to believe in ourselves. Make a difference in someone’s life today. Be positive and encourage them. Whether it’s a colleague, a staff member, a client, or a family member, I think that you will be surprised what a little encouragement can do for a person.
See you next week, Kev