Monday, January 5, 2015

Do You Know How to Encourage?

A few weeks ago my son forwarded me an email from his boss.  I was blown away!  This manager sure knew how to give praise and encouragement.  I have never seen anything like it!

I have been so impacted by this young manager's email that I want to share some of the highlights.  

He gets right to the point: Awesome work as a --- You are doing exactly what a --- should be doing, but at a higher level.  The sky is the limit with your ( he names all of my son's strengths).
Notice how specific his praise is throughout the opening paragraph.  No frills, just the facts!

He asks my son to print out and save any and all results that show how he has improved or how he has improved the work of others.  There is a reminder that this kind of data will help to tell my son's STORY.  

I love that!  Document and tell your story!  He is mentoring by passing along some advice.  Create a portfolio of your accomplishments.  This will help you in future interviews.

Finally, he points out that all of my son's hard work is not lost on him.  He knows how hard he is working and that he is making a difference.

He even says, "The difference is YOU!"

That's it!  Short, sweet and powerful.

I have thought about the praise that I have received and given during my career.  Have I encouraged others?  Has my praise been specific and lasting?  I hope so!
Sadly, it has been my experience in education that praise is rarely given and not very powerful when offered.

I think it takes a strong, confident, person to offer praise and encouragement that will lift others up and promote their success.  
When we recognize the talents and hard work of those around us, we should offer our praise and encouragement.  Those in leadership positions should definitely do this!  We must take the opportunity to support and encourage others to do great things!

I am very proud of my son and his boss!  


  1. I was just thinking along these lines this morning. Thank you for reminding me again of those thoughts.

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    2. So good to hear from you Tammy! I have a new job that keeps me busy! I am just now finding time to blog and read blogs! Hope you are having a great year

  2. Hi Sandra! I love this post and find myself grateful that you shared it. We create win-wins when we encourage and affirm one another ... which makes me wonder why it isn't a more commonplace practice. Maybe people worry that encouragement would lose its power if we encourage too often?

    What a wonderful reflection piece for your son, for you as his mom, for that boss, and for us. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Barbara! Your comments are always so thoughtful. This experience has made me want to be that person who offers hope and encouragement.