Thursday, September 29, 2011

Encouragement

A gentleman at the gym today made a comment that gave me a warm glow - he said that I was always upbeat, always ready with a kind word.

Back when I had a day job it was interesting, come yearly review time. It was like there were only so many words of praise that could be used in reviewing a given set of employees. Like they were budgeted. I suspect the concern was that employees who were told they had done well would immediately demand big raises. Well folks, there really aren’t many big raises for the rank and file in this economic environment. And, with the prevailing attitude on handing out kudos - heck, there aren’t many employees that will likely get glowing reviews. Or praise that they deserve. Pity.

Hopefully the company I worked for was not the norm - given the fact they declared bankruptcy a bit over a year after I left, they clearly didn’t have all the answers. But, one area where they really missed the boat was giving people encouragement.

Telling someone when they are doing something really well takes a bit of nerve - lord knows none of us want to seem like we are trying to come on to someone - or trying to stick our nose where it doesn’t belong. And, in truth, sometimes the first kind word results in a bit of a confused look. But, second or third time it is amazing to see folk just light up when they realize someone is actually talking to them, and giving them words of encouragement. And, in as much as I look like I work out - I suppose it might mean a little more when I encourage folk not quite as fit as myself.

Encouragement, kind words, positive comments on the way people are doing an exercise - or even praise for doing something that is clearly a stretch. These things don’t cost us anything - we really won’t run out of good words for others. And, with the exception of the risk that someone might think we have an ulterior motive, there really are not many negatives associated with trying to make others feel a little important - feel good being recognized for what they are doing.

Heck, every time on of my work out buds, Randy, strikes a muscle-man pose to tell me I am looking ripped - it really does make me feel great. Even if I still look like a 160 pound wimp. It really does make a difference. Thank you Randy!



This is one of the new fawns in our neighborhood earlier in the year - so very tiny - perhaps 15 inches tall! He's bigger now, and really likes to eat strawberry plants.

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