The Best Use of Words

Successful leaders lift people; poor leaders drain them. You either bring vitality or you exhaust.

Recently a leader from a Fortune 500 company that I’ve worked with reminded me of something I wrote. “No Encouragement is Discouragement.” His reminder stuck. It’s still on my mind, five days later.

Who have you encouraged in the last day or week? You’ve been meaning to say the good word. You’ve intended to offer a listening ear. But you’re dealing with too many issues and solving so many problems that encouraging others slipped off the agenda.


Encouragement infuses others with courage, hope, and confidence. Sounds like a good thing. So…

Express encouragement.

  1. Ask people, “What encourages you?”
  2. Send an email asking, “What can I do to encourage you today?”
  3. Think of things that encourage you and do them for others.
  4. Create an encouragement calendar with the names of people you plan to encourage on each day.
  5. Say something good in the morning. “Good morning Joe. I’ve been thinking about your last project. Your team was magnificent. Great leadership.”

Bonus: Be specific when giving compliments and don’t add but’s.

There’s no middle ground when it comes to encouragement. Either you encourage, or through neglect, you discourage. The best use of words is using them as tools to lift and energize.

What could you do to encourage someone today?

What encouragement tips can you suggest?