Here’s a simple tip for making your encouragement really powerful…
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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.