Over the last two months, I’ve spoken to several groups.When I asked them to define encouragement, they struggled – not with a narrow definition – with any definition!When I asked them: “Who needs encouragement?”They could only think of people who were down on their luck.The first time this happened, I thought it was an isolated case, but after asking multiple times and getting an identical response, I’m pretty sure we don’t think much about encouragement.We may confuse it with kindness. However, kindness is part of an attitude of encouragement, but it isn’t the same thing.Encouragement needs a new definition.I believe it is a set of skills made up of observation, awareness, listening, curiosity, appreciation, noticing strengths, humor, playfulness, presence, and letting go of assumptions.We all know WHAT these skills are, but using them at a more advanced level is worth looking into.We train through a series of tiny experiments mixed with bringing conversations together to extract and ignite insights. We then introduce a more complex level of experiments followed by more insight shared.Once learned and practiced, these skills are with you.The benefit is so great to the individual and any group, resulting in deeper connectedness, appreciation, engagement, and a sense of belonging.
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