Encouraging someone is part of teamwork, a Young Professional skill that shows up on almost every employer’s wishlist! When you encourage someone it’s good for them AND for you. See our examples of ways to encourage people, then go brighten someone’s day!
Young Professional Challenge: Encourage someone today!
Your teamwork challenge is to encourage someone today. Do it at least once, but you don’t have to stop there. See how many times you can encourage someone and make them feel good.
You’re often part of teams in life, whether you are in a department, doing a group project, or working on your own towards an employer’s business goal. Teamwork is a great skill to show off in your CV and in job interviews. The most important way to build your teamwork skills is to think about “we” instead of “me” and put that team spirit energy out there into the world. One great way to do that is by encouraging people.
Every time you encourage someone today, think about their reaction. Were they pleased? Surprised? Did they feel glad that their efforts were being see? And how did you feel? Did you feel good about supporting others? You don’t need to be an expert or boss to encourage others. You just need to be you.
Some ways to give encouragement today:
Encouragement can be a compliment you give someone, but it’s so much more than that. When you encourage someone you reward them with positive attention and support for making an effort. Here are some everyday ways to practise encouraging people…
Notice when someone does something good. Congratulate them.
Listen without judgement if someone tells you they’re feeling blue. Don’t get bored or angry. Don’t tell them they’re wrong or silly for feeling that way. Just let them share their feelings, and let them know they can be honest with you. Trust is a big part of encouragement.
Encourage even the smallest effort. If your friend finally gives back something they ‘borrowed’ from you last year, don’t have a go at them. Thank them, so they feel good about giving you your stuff back. They’ll be more likely to return things quickly in the future. Again, encouragement helps to build up trust.
Tell someone something positive about themselves. Everyone needs to be reminded of their good qualities and personal strengths now and then. For example, you can point out how caring, creative or quick-thinking someone is, or how they always find new ways of doing things, or maybe they keep going and never give up.
Stop looking to find fault with others. If we only see the negative in others and downplay the positive, we are more likely to only get negative behaviour from them. Even if you don’t like someone, there is always one positive thing you can say about them. In school cliques, it’s easy to badmouth someone just because everyone else does, and it can go too far and become bullying behaviour. Seeing something positive about everyone – even people you don’t respect or like – helps you work with them better, and can even bring out their best side.
Find physical ways to encourage someone. High fives! Sharing group photos of happy memories! Offering to make drinks or get snacks! These are all ways to show your support.
Honesty is the best form of compliment. People can tell when you’re fibbing to make them feel good. The best way to encourage someone is to tell them something positive you really mean. Don’t say they’re really organised when they turn up to everything two hours late – they’ll know it’s not true! Pick truthful positive things to say to someone and they will really notice it and appreciate it from the bottom of their heart.
Why is it important to give encouragement?
- It helps people feel seen appreciated and not alone.
- It shows you’re the kind of person who looks out for others.
- It helps build better communication and trust between people.
- It motivates others and boosts their self-belief.
- Encouraging others is a leadership skill. Good leaders, bosses and people in power use the reward carrot not the punishment stick to help people feel and do their best. You may not be a boss right now, but there are still lots of times when you might find yourself in charge of a team. You might be babysitting some kids who want to stay up past their bedtime, for example. Or, in the world of work, imagine you’ve just graduated from doing an apprenticeship. Your boss might ask you to show newbie apprentices around and help them settle in. The newbie apprentices will be looking up to you. If you can encourage them they will feel much better about being somewhere new!