Encouragers vs. Rain Cloud People

by Motivational Keynote Speaker Jean Gatz

Heard any discouraging comments at work lately? How about at home? Sure makes it harder to do your job and live your life, doesn’t it? Discouragers are everywhere. I call them Rain Cloud People because they can instantly put a damper on anything positive going on in your life at the moment.

You know who they are – because you’ve heard them. “That will never work. What a dumb idea. You’re not a good boss/employee /teacher/student/spouse/parent/child. Why don’t you get a haircut/get a job/get a life?” While recipients often take these comments to heart, the naysayers rarely recall saying anything offensive. They’re not even aware because it’s ingrained in how they think, talk and behave. Although the damage has been done, the rest of us have the power to turn things around.

We all have opportunities every day to encourage others. But we often let them pass us by. We’re busy people, so it’s easier to assume others know we appreciate their efforts instead of taking our precious time to tell them. Since people aren’t mind readers, however, it’s up to us to let them know. With tight budgets these days, a word of thanks and some well-deserved recognition in the workplace are cost-effective ways to boost morale and improve productivity. The possibilities are endless and affordable.

At some point we leave the workplace and go home to – or spend time with – the people who are supposed to be the most important ones in our lives. But we often leave our good manners at work. We can just “be ourselves” with them, right? No one cares. We’ve had a tough day and we just want to relax. While that’s understandable, it doesn’t mean we should “relax our awareness” of others who’ve also had a tough day.

It’s so easy to take people for granted. Think about it. We smile and thank a total stranger for holding a door open for us, then assume that those closest to us automatically know we appreciate the many kind and helpful things they do. We apologize for bumping into someone in a crowded hallway, yet find it hard to apologize when we’ve hurt someone’s feelings or damaged our relationship by a thoughtless comment.

All of us have daily contact with people who have discouragers in their lives. If they don’t talk about it we have no way of knowing what they’ve dealt with in the past or what they’re dealing with now. While we can’t undo the damage, we do have the power to be encouragers for others. Awards for effort and hard work are given out at a wide variety of recognition events every year. But other words of appreciation often go unspoken.

When we stop taking people for granted and let them know how much we value them, we can have an impact more powerful than we ever imagined. Encouraging words are never wasted. But if the words are never spoken, they will never be heard. Your commitment to be an encourager will help you stand out from the crowd in a positive way. So… who needs to hear from you today?


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