I believe that there are few things more powerful than words. Both for good and for bad.

We’ve no doubt all been the victim of words that were directed at us to attack us, devalue us, make fun of us, maybe even destroy us. For some of us, we can still remember words like that that were spoken maybe even decades ago.

It’s because words carry a lot of weight.

Today, we’re going to talk about the power of positive words, specifically in the form of encouragement.

Encouragement is up there with Curiosity as one of the topics I love the most.

I’m sure a big part of it is just how I’m wired. I love to receive words of affirmation (check out episode 19 for more on this) and I also love to encourage others.

I think true encouragement, pound for pound, has one of the biggest returns on our investment of time or effort.

That’s because, even if you’re not a big words of affirmation person, all of us long to know that we matter, that we have value.

When we encourage others we are communicating that in one way or another.

With those in our workplace, it can take on a lot of different variations. It could be just noticing how clean someone keeps their area or how diligent they are with their work. It could be genuinely talking up someone to others, letting them know something awesome about them. It could be even just thanking a colleague for going the extra mile to get that project completed or for stepping across responsibility lines to pick up slack for someone who was out.

I think there is incredible value even in just saying good morning to people, especially if you can use their name and even better if you don’t normally talk to them.

Like we said, we all want to belong, to matter, to know in our heart that there is a reason why we woke up this morning and are going through another day.

What I love about encouragement is that you never have any idea how valuable your words can be. When you told Bill that you just wanted to tell him you really value his character and integrity, you had no idea that Bill was really struggling that day behind his ever-present smile. You didn’t know that he was doubting his worth, frustrated with some of his projects and even feeling invisible at times.

All you set out to do was share something that had been on your heart and that you didn’t want to just stay there. And yet, those few words had a powerful impact on Bill.

That’s how true encouragement works. It is like the grease that keeps our rusty joints going sometimes, that cup of cold water to a weary team member who really needs it.

If you’re not a natural encourager, don’t worry about it. Just start by being a noticer. And as you make note of things that you see, try sharing those thoughts with your people. That’s one key that I see. Just sharing what is already on your mind, even if you assume that they already know it. They probably don’t. So just say it.

Don’t leave those valuable words just taking up space in your head. Encourage someone today. It could make all the difference.

If you’ve been enjoying the podcast and haven’t left an Apple Podcasts or iTunes review, I’d love it you’d take a minute to do that. You can head to shawnwashburn.com/apple┬áto take you right there. Thanks for spending some time today to help you and your business thrive.