Whether its family, friends, or work colleagues, affirming others lets them know that they matter. We all need affirmation and giving it to others will show that we care. Evan Carmichael says,
Sincerely affirming others is like spreading gold coins as an investment in good will in the hands of a proactive leader. I’ve found that those leaders who consistently do it feel gratitude toward people… their family members, friends, staff members,business colleagues and customers.
Here are seven ways to affirm others.
- The words that we say to people can be affirming or demeaning, or neutral. Saying affirming words to others will ensure that they feel good about themselves. We should always remember to thank others, both publicly and privately. If we don’t feel appreciated because we are never affirmed, we are less inclined to go the extra mile. If we are never affirmed or appreciated, we may even become resentful. We need to think about the words that we say to friends, family and colleagues.
- Our non-verbal communication is as important as what we say. If we are continually looking at our watch while a friend of colleague is talking to us, we give them the message that we are not interested in them. Even across a table, a nod or a smile encourages and affirms another person’s comments.
- Listen to what the other person is saying without interrupting or finishing their sentences for them. You cannot guess what someone else is thinking, so give them time to express their view. Take time to consider their suggestions and opinions.
- Try to notice the little things that people do. It’s easy to take it for granted when someone in the family always washes up, or when someone at work always restocks the stationary, but acknowledging what they do will make them feel appreciated.
- Keep your promises. The little promises that we make are often more important than they seem. If we promise to do something for a work colleague and continually forget, we are sending a message to that person that we don’t care enough to remember.
- Consider the subject under discussion from the perspective of the other person and it may give you a different slant on things. We all look at situations from different points of view and considering their viewpoint will help us to consider the needs of the other person as well as our own.
- Acknowledge and recognise the achievements of the other person. If we have put a lot of work into a project, and committed our time and energy to it, it feels good to have that recognised. It is important to have feedback, but anything negative should be said with praise either side of it, as in the classic praise sandwich.