how to encourage others

I love to receive encouragement of all kinds, don’t you? Encouragement comes in many forms: a thank you note, positive words, a tip that moves my idea forward, a hug, a smile…

In an earlier post I compared motivation and encouragement. As part of the research for that post, I asked some of the incredible ladies I worked with to answer the questions: What makes you feel motivated? What encourages you?

I so appreciate their honest feedback. They mentioned things I do well and areas where I can improve. I took the liberty to group their answers into general categories that help me remember the ideas. I learned a lot from what they shared; I think you will also!

Demonstrate Interest

    • A genuine interest about what is happening in life
    • A genuine desire to understand – ideas/thoughts
    • Listening
    • Quality time together one-on-one working on character issues
    • Confrontation/correction done in love
    • Grace extended rather than judgement for mistakes/errors


    • Help with specific areas of need: organization, personal discipline
    • Encouragement to develop potential in new areas
    • Belief in, promotion of, resources for visions/dreams/projects

Express Appreciation

    • Receiving words of affirmation, “please” and “thank you”
    • Personalized and informed recognition given for a job well done, effort expended, and/or talents
    • Sincere appreciation/value/importance expressed (spoken, note, email) for work
    • The opportunity to see specific/useful results and impact from efforts
    • Recognition of growth/progress in personal/professional areas

Add Personal Touch

    • Vulnerability on the part of the supervisor
    • A hug or pat on the back
    • Small personalized gifts – coffee, coke zero, chocolate 🙂
    • Prayers

I am very grateful for the encouragement I have received from others when I needed it. I want to get better at encouraging others. This list gives me lots of ideas… I am sure I can find something here that I can use each day to encourage someone.

What would you add to this list? What encourages you?

4 thoughts on “how to encourage others

  1. This is a great list. What also comes to mind is the “Love Languages” books – because motivation and encouragement seem to flow out of a sense of being loved in the various definitions of I Cor. 13. Thanks for spurring my thinking this morning! I’m going to do my best, today, to encourage, motivate, and love those who surround me and with whom I may have contact.
    (and I need to go back and read your other post on this!)


    • Great comment… made me think about Duane Elmer’s book, “Cross-Cultural Servanthood” and his comments about service, humility, trust, etc being “culturally” defined… in other words, encouragement and motivation… like love 🙂 need to be defined (felt?) by the one receiving – not the one giving… I have so much to learn! I appreciate you!


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