“If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it — young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous — is changed by it.” — John C. Maxwell

“When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you’re making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.” — Zig Ziglar

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” — Yehuda Berg

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As you can see, the power of encouragement is a real force that we all possess. So, how can each of us encourage one another? Notice the strengths of other people, and then call them out.

This makes encouragement much different than motivation, because encouragement means that you are uplifting an individual, whereas motivation is speaking to the masses. This means that creating relationships with other people is the only way that encouragement can take place. Creating relationships, speaking life into people, and motivating others may sound time-consuming or even scary to you, but it’s a necessary part of leading in life.

I can remember when a boss of mine told me that I would be good at running a business, because he saw my efforts and leadership skills. Was that dangerous of him to call out something that could maybe impact the path I took? Not at all, because he knew that I could handle the truth, and he also saw the power of encouragement. At that time, I still had tons to learn, and still do even now, but he didn’t see who I was at that time or had been prior to that — he saw who I was becoming. Seeing potential in people is a beautiful thing, because everyone has potential. I didn’t know what my potential was or what my strengths were, but he noticed, and chose to speak life into me.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, or mentoring teenagers, or working on a team, or a business owner, you come in contact with people every single day that you have the opportunity to speak encouragement or discouragement to. You have the chance to speak life into people every step of the way, encouraging them to keep going, even when nobody else believes in them.

That’s the power of encouragement.

Originally published at medium.com