[Column] Compliment and Encourage Others

Compliment and Encourage Others

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

We can also achieve dreams by complimenting and encouraging others. There are three types of language: language of relationship, language of information, and language of motivation. “Mom. Get me something to eat” is the language of relationship. Information refers to a person’s thoughts and feelings. Asking, “What did you learn from today’s service?” is using the language of information. To a leader, the language of motivation is important. Saying, “Astonishing. How did you come to realize that?” to the other party after he finishes speaking encourages, compliments, and builds up the other party. Doing that, you can bring out his innermost essential desire and potential.

Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Everyone has the desire to be recognized. It is said that everyone wears an invisible sign that reads, “I’m important. Treat me as someone important.” Whomever we meet, we should be able to see this message. Knowing that they are important and precious, we must treat others with affection and respect. In a similar vein, American psychologist William James said, “What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise although the philosophers generally call it recognition!” There is a proverb, “Encouragement makes a useful person out of a fool.”

I would like to introduce the leadership of Bear Bryant, a famous college football coach in America.  He scored most wins in the history of college football in America. He used to say, “I’m just a farmer fro the country side but I know how to manage a team. You have to use compliment and criticism appropriately until the entire team moves like one body. There are three things I often say. If something goes wrong, I say, “I’m responsible.” If we achieve notable results, I say, “We did it.” If we accomplish our goals, I say, “You did it.” By saying these things, I was able to motivate the players and eventually win.” Bryant’s principle is truly profound. The players must have thought to themselves, “Our coach trusts us. He believes in us, recognizes us, and encourages us.” Such a positive message helped them renew their commitment and compete aggressively.

Abraham Lincoln was known for using the language of compliment and encouragement. In 1864, he send the letters encouragement to many generals who were then engaging in Civil War. On December 24 of 1864, he wrote to General Sherman, “Many, many, thanks for your Christmas-gift—the capture of Savannah.” He added, “When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you were the better judge, and remembering that “nothing risked, nothing gained” I did not interfere. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours; for I believe none of us went farther than to acquiesce. And, taking the work of Gen. Thomas into the count, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate military advantages; but, in showing to the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old opposing force of the whole—Hood’s army—it brings those who sat in darkness, to see a great light. But what next? I suppose it will be safer if I leave Gen. Grant and yourself to decide.”

How would General Sherman have felt when he received the message from Lincoln? He must have thought Lincoln had recognized him. He must have been moved by Lincoln’s acknowledgement of his autonomy. Soon General Sherman replied, “I am gratified at the receipt of your letter of Dec 26, at the hand of General Logan. Especially to observe that you appreciate the division I made of my army, and that each part was duly proportioned to its work. The motto, `Nothing ventured Nothing won’ which you refer to is most appropriate, and should I venture too much and happen to lose I shall bespeak your charitable influence. I am ready for the Great Next as soon as I can complete certain preliminaries, and learn of General Grant his and your preference of intermediate objectives.” As can be seen, interest in others naturally bring out the language of motivation. Then we can say the words of blessing and respect.

Also, we have to the words of prophetic blessing to people. The meaning of the name Simon is reed. In outer appearance, Simon was weak, wavering, and short-tempered. Jesus, however, saw his potential and said to Simon, “From now on, your name is no longer Simon but Peter.” What does Peter mean? It means rock. We need the attitude to bless others prophetically based on their potential. Especially a leader must effectively handle the task of encouraging and motivating the members of his group to realize their dreams and potential by using the language of prophetic blessing. When we declare God-given dreams to others, they are given the power to realize their dreams.

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