Are you an Encourager or a Discourager?
Recently I saw a tweet from a sports reporter who had messed up (strikes a chord with me as I record my video blogs 😉 ) while recapping the game. The recording captured veteran sportscaster Marty Smith offering up pointers and words of encouragement. Smith emphasized that despite the flub, the reporter did indeed know what he was doing, and that the hardest part was to just keep going. You could see it meant a lot to the reporter that Smith took the time to provide that kind of reassurance.
This reminded me of two occasions that had quite the opposite effect on me.
- While I was in college, one of my co-workers hired a writing professional to create his resume. As a group of us sat around talking about it, we asked him for a few pointers or ideas for how we could also improve our resumes. His response surprised us. Basically, he said that because he paid for it, he wasn’t willing to share any insights and that we would just have to figure it out on our own. We weren’t trying to take advantage of him but just looking for the same advice he was seeking.
- The second story takes place when I was living in Nashville, Tennessee. I was on my way to meet with a recruiter. Two older gentlemen determined that I was dressed to try an impress a potential employer, I looked the part. They laughed and pointed out, “You’ll never get a job. Your shoes are too dirty.” True, my shoes were dirty because I was just starting out. Discouraged and embarrassed, I hurried along to my appointment.
These stories stuck with me, always reminding me of how not to treat people. Seeing Marty Smith in action via the reporter’s tweet encouraged me to speak to the idea of being an encourager or discourager.
I’ll finish with a story about my mom, who I call my Chief Encourager. She has done everything to support me in whatever dream or wild idea that I had. I try to follow her example as I parent my own children and to emulate that as a leader. I hope everyone goes out and encourages others to pursue whatever they’re doing and give them positive thoughts as they move forward. You never know where they might end up!