How to Encourage With Impact

November 28, 2017 in Leaders Tips Videos
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Here’s a simple tip for making your encouragement really powerful…

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Video Transcript:

This week, I want to talk about how to really encourage people. I talk to people all the time who want to encourage others, but aren’t sure how to do it or at least aren’t sure how to do it well.

And my suggestion is to learn how to be specific in your encouragement. The more specific you are, the more powerful your words will be. Let me give you an example. As many of you know, I’m a pastor and so I regularly teach on Sundays. And it’s not uncommon after a service for someone to come up and thank me for something I said or say, “Hey! Good job pastor, thanks!” or something like that.

But a while back I had two people come up to me with very different approaches. One said, “Hey, good job Dave, I appreciate what you said.” Ok, thanks. But then a woman came up and said, “Hey Dave, I just wanted to thank you for what you said. When you described how God loves us so much that he dances over us with joy, it reminded me of how my dad used to dance with me when I was a little girl. And how special that was and it really helped me understand and connect with how much God loves me. I really appreciate you spelling that out and taking the time to paint that picture.”

Now let me ask you, which one of those do you think was more encouraging to me? Well, if you guessed the second one that was more specific you’d be right.

See, when we’re general with our encouragement, and just say things like, “Hey, good job! it’s very easy for people to dismiss that as “you’re just trying to be a nice person” because there’s no substance to it.

But when you get specific, it lets people know that you value them, it also makes it easier for them to believe what you’re saying and grab hold of it. If you’re trying to encourage them, that’s the whole point.

So get specific in your encouragement and watch your words have a bigger impact on the people that you care about. Now as I end this I would like to ask you a favor.

I’d love it if you would just post your stories about encouragement. Times that you encouraged someone really well. Times that you tried and it didn’t go well. Or things people have said to you that really had an impact. I’d love to hear those stories and learn from them. So, post those if you can.

Encouragement vs. Correction

July 28, 2017 in Leaders Tips Videos

Have you ever tried to encourage someone and had it backfire? That’s not uncommon but is easily avoided. Here’s how…

Video Transcript:

Hey guys. It’s Dave Frederick with this week’s leaders tip. You know, there’s nothing that’s worse than wanting to encourage someone and having it backfire. Having them come away less encouraged than when they started. But it does happen a lot. Let me give you an example. I know a couple where one of the wife’s desires is for her husband to make the bed in the morning. He just never seems to do it. He just gets up and heads out to work and he just doesn’t do it. But one time recently, he did it. He got up and before he left he made the bed and she wanted to really encourage him. And she wanted him to keep doing it.

So when he got home, what she said was, “Oh honey, thanks so much for making the bed.” and then added, because she wanted to help him improve, “Next time when you do that, if you could make sure you tuck in the sheets, and make sure the spread is even along the side and then fluff up the pillows and set them out this way, that would be really great”.

Now I’m sure her intentions were good but I guarantee you her husband did not come away encouraged. All he came away hearing was, “you did it wrong” and that did not motivate him to do it again, I promise you. See if you want to encourage people, never add correction or instruction to your encouragement.

Let your encouragement stand alone, otherwise, it won’t stand at all. All people will hear is the correction. They’ll hear the instruction. They’ll hear they didn’t do it right. And no one’s encouraged by hearing that. Now to be clear, when you want to correct someone, you can bring all the encouragement you want. That’s good. But if you want to encourage them don’t bring the correction. It won’t work.

So if you want to encourage people, we smart about it. Let your encouragement stand alone. Don’t add anything to it. You’ll find people will appreciate your words and they’ll appreciate you.

Want to master your time and lead the way you’ve always wanted? Get our Time Management for Pastors eBook for free when you subscribe to Leaders Book Summaries.

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The Big Lie of Multi-Tasking

June 8, 2017 in Leaders Tips Videos

Multi-tasking actually slows you down; here’s a better way to get things done…



If you are like most people, you probably feel pretty busy. I doubt very much that you got up this morning and said: “I wonder what I’m going to do with all my extra time?” You probably feel very busy and often feel like there is more to do than there is time to get it done.

One of the ways we try to attack that is trying to multitask, do two or three things at one. Like talk on the phone and while we are reading an article and cleaning up the kitchen, and we think we get more done faster that way. The problem is that multitasking is a great way to look busy, while we actually get less done. It’s a fallacy, it doesn’t really work.

See, your brain cannot focus on two things at once, so what we call “multitasking” is really just “task-switching”. Our brain is switching focus from one thing to another, back and forth, back and forth. The problem is every time we do that, it takes our brain a second or two to reconnect with the information flow with either one of those projects or tasks. So we are actually losing time and becoming inefficient.

The other thing that happens is the likelihood of making a mistake increases. One study showed that people lowered their productivity by up to 40%, just because of the increase in the number of mistakes. So we end up working slower, and more poorly. Multitasking doesn’t work. If you want to get more done, in less time, the key is to learn how to concentrate.

To learn how to focus your attention, minute by minute on just one thing. Peak performers in any field have learned this, they concentrate all their energy on one task, whatever the task at hand is, and when they finish it, they go on to the next thing. Concentrate, focus, put all their energy into that one thing, and when they finish that one, go on to the next. They don’t go back and forth, back and forth between things, because like I said, things take longer and your quality is lower.

So if you want to get things done faster, and with better quality, learn how to concentrate. Learn how to focus your energy and focus your attention, put all your attention on one thing until it is done. And the final benefit of that is that over time your stress level will go down. You won’t live with this constant sense of “I’ve got too much to do, I’ve got too much to do!” because you are actually going to be getting that stuff done regularly, consistently.

Your stress level will go down, and your ability to enjoy life and enjoy what you do will go up. It’s a win-win all the way around. So try it! Forget the multitasking, learn how to focus.

And do me a favor, if this tip was helpful, will you give us a like, a share or leave me a comment on it, I’d love to get your feedback and get the word out about what we are doing. Thanks so much, have a great week.

Default Decision Making

May 8, 2017 in Leaders Tips Videos

What would happen if what you wanted to do was also the easiest thing to do?

I read recently that the average person makes 35,000 decisions in a typical day. Thirty-five thousand! That’s a lot. One of the results of making that many decisions is that we have a bias towards making decisions that are easy. Whatever the easiest decision to make, we will tend to make that, more often than not. Businesses know that. So you go to your typical grocery store, you’ll find that products at eye level on the shelves sell more, because it is simply easier for us to pick those than make the decision to bend down to see what is on the bottom shelf.

I’ve read that Google pays Firefox something like $100 million dollars a year to be the default search engine. So if you are on Firefox and you type in something to search, automatically Google is the search engine that is used. Now it would only take typing in a couple of letters and one click to use Bing, but it is so easy to use Google because it is the default, and that is worth a lot of money. Now we can use that truth to our advantage when we make decisions.

For example, let’s say you want to cut back on soda, one way to do that is carrying around a water bottle with you. It’s just easier to take a sip of the water bottle than go get a soda. If you want to spend less time surfing the net, here’s a simple thing to do: when you are on Facebook, and you leave it, close the tab, don’t leave the tab open, because that one step of having to open the tab to Facebook will result in you opening it less often.

It’s a simple thing, but we tend to do what is the easiest thing. So think of that – you want to cut back on the amount of junk food you eat? Don’t make a rule, just don’t have it in your house, so you have to go out to get it. Just having to do that one extra thing, which will not be the easiest thing, will work in your favor, it will make you less likely to do it. So start looking at your life in terms of: How do I set this up to be the easiest thing? Something is going to be the easiest, right?

There is always a decision that is the easiest about everything. Well, why don’t we be intentional about that? Decide ahead of time what the easiest thing is going to be, what’s going to be the most visible or at hand and do that. Identify the things that are most important and set those up to be easy. Your life has a lot of defaults in them, things that are automatic or that are the easiest, but they don’t necessarily take you to where you want to go. But if you set them up intentionally, they can. You can choose to design your own default decisions, and what will end up happening is you’ll do more of what you want, easier because you’ve made it that way.

So try it, and let me know how it goes!

Life is Not a Marathon!

April 13, 2017 in Leaders Tips Videos

I’ve been told that life is a marathon, but I don’t think it’s true. Here’s a better way to think about your race.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon?” I’ve heard that often and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is actually not true. While it is good to take a long term perspective, I think it is a very important thing to do, the truth is life is more like a series of sprints that are broken up by periods of rest than it is a marathon.

When you think about life being a marathon, or have a marathon mindset, the idea is you just keep going, you don’t quit, you just keep going and going and going. And I think that can be a recipe for burnout and ultimately for ineffectiveness. Rather than that, think in term of a series of sprints.

Rather than setting an annual goal or a five year goal or something like that, think in terms of twelve week goals. Twelve weeks is long enough that you can get some substantial things done but short enough that you can stay focused, work hard, and when it is done, step back and take a break.

We’re designed for that combination of push and rest, stretch and release. You know if you work out, you work hard and then you have to give your body some recovery time. That’s kind of the way life is organized, kind of the way life is made. Push hard and then rest, push hard and then rest. Even within a single day, think of it as series of sprints.

Break it up into smaller chunks where you work hard and focus, you press in, then you step back and take a break. You take a break and go for a walk, or even a nap, something like that. Then you come back and press hard again. Structuring your time that way, and approaching life that way, as a series of sprints rather than a marathon; studies have shown you’ll actually get more done that way than if you work straight through. Sprint, rest, sprint, rest.

The reality is life is not a marathon, even though it lasts a long time. A series of sprints, broken up by rest, you’ll get more done, faster, with higher quality. So try it and let me know how it goes.

The Circle Maker

April 9, 2017 in Pastor's Perspective

I’ve read a lot of books on prayer over the years, but few have both encouraged and challenged me the way Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker has. While not a book on leadership, this is a book that every leader should read.

Obviously a book written by a practitioner, not a theorist, The Circle Maker is filled with insights that come from practice, as well as from pastoring people who are dealing with the real stuff of life as they are learning to pray. I’ve seen so many of these played out in the people I pastor! Here are just a few of the ones that struck me:

The importance of praying specifically: Often our prayers are so general, and so vague, that we have no idea if God has answered them or not. And, “we never know if the answers were the result of specific prayer or general coincidences that would have happened anyway”—so God doesn’t really receive the glory. And honestly, our faith that prayer makes a difference is actually undermined.

The importance of taking risks, and being willing to look foolish: You cannot build God’s reputation if you aren’t willing to risk yours. This is one of those truths I hate—I really don’t want to risk my reputation! But I have seen that that is the only way to position yourself for a miracle of any kind.

The blessings of God won’t just bless you; they will also complicate your life. Sin will complicate your life in negative ways. The blessings of God will complicate your life in positive ways. This is certainly true to my experience, but I think most of us aren’t clear on that. We somehow think God’s blessings should make our life easier—that it means everything will work out with no effort or stress on our part. And because we don’t understand that, we often miss out on giving thanks or even really embracing what God is doing. It’s a pernicious lie that the evidence of God’s favor is a stress-free, simple life.

One of the things that shows that this is written by a practitioner is the way unanswered prayers are addressed. “The hardest thing about praying hard is enduring unanswered prayers. If you don’t guard your heart, unresolved anger toward God can undermine faith.” I think every pastor has had to deal with people whose faith has been undermined because God didn’t answer their prayer, or answer it in the way they wanted. And then they became angry, or hurt, or cynical, and often turned away from God. It’s sad, but not uncommon.

As pastors we have to be able to deal with that—to give an answer, or a perspective, that makes sense and can help people over the hump.

I’m challenged to pray bigger prayers, and persist in them. What was your reaction to The Circle Maker? Share your thoughts—I’d love to hear them.

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