Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Encouragement--The Power of Building Up

Encouragement seems to be a recurring theme in my life.

In an effort to remain a positive person full of optimism and continuing to grow, I have witnessed the aftermath of a less than encouraging experience.

It is simply, destructive.

I fear we are all guilty--and not just me. I mean, I know of times when I see something which is the result of hard work on the part of another--and I find the flaw. All to often the resulting conversation goes something like: "Wow, that is a really great job, but . . . "

That, friends, is not encouragement. Encouragement would stop before the ",but . . ."

We had a message in church a week or so ago about encouragement, and I had forgotten that the command to encourage one another was so prominent in the New Testament. Paul wrote:

"Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing."
- 1 Thess 5:11 - NIV


Pretty strong words.

I have written a few blog entries on encouragement. Tear 'em Down or Build 'em Up? Leading in a mixed up world and Leadership: The Power of "Good Job" and "Thank-you" and of course Empowerment and Encouragement.

It is a recurring theme with me because I see so many people in need of an encouraging word. I know it is tough to be encouraging when I am reviewing a document for publication and need to make changes. The goal is to make it an encouraging teaching moment rather than a demoralizing experience for the author. It is tough to do. But it needs to be done.

If I want to encourage risk takers--in thought and action; I need to encourage them and not assassinate them when the results fall short of the vision we had.

I remember the saying--every cloud has a silver lining. Now that is truly encouragement.

We learn more from adversity than from success.

So from an encouragement point of view--we'll do better next time.

Let's go out for a drink and talk this one over--get out of the office, out of the threatening professional trappings of power and leadership and talk person to person. And at the end of it all--be happy that action was taken. Be encouraged. Tomorrow can be better than today.
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