“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.” ~ William A. Ward
Today, we continue our journey through the book, Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others by John Maxwell. Last week, we discovered that a Person of Influence has Integrity with People. If you are just now joining us, I would encourage you to scroll down and read the last two blog posts. Also if you haven't bought the book and would still like to, I would recommend doing so. Here is a link if you are interested.
Definition of Nurture
- to feed and protect:
- to support and encourage, as during the period of training or development; Something and/or someone that nourishes.
Scripture on Nurture
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” ~ Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” ~ Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” ~ Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)
As I was looking through the chapter titles a few weeks ago, trying to decide if this was the book to use, I was intrigued by the word “Nurturing.” I guess for me, and maybe you had the same thoughts, when I think of nurturing, I picture a mother caring for a baby. In fact, I honestly questioned how nurturing had anything to do with leadership at all. But the more I read into the chapter, I began to connect the dots of just how crucial this aspect of leadership and influence really is. People long for encouragement, recognition, security and hope. These elements create the process in leadership called Nurturing.
What does it take to nurture others people?
“The length and breadth of our influence on others are directly related to the depth of our concern for them. When it comes to helping people grow and feel good about themselves, there is no substitute for love.”
How do I love others well?
- Take time to express your love and appreciation for the people close to you.
- Tell them how much they mean to you.
- Write them notes telling how much you care.
- Give them a pat on the back and, when appropriate, a hug.
- Don’t ever assume that people know how you feel about them. Tell them. Nobody can be told too often that he or she is loved.
“Most people will do nearly anything for you if you treat them respectfully. And that means making it clear to them that their feelings are important, their preferences are respected, and their opinions are valuable.”
How do I respect others well?
- Acknowledge their abilities or potential to contribute
- Listen to other people; put their agenda ahead of your own. This reflects your respect for them and gives a greater potential to make you both more successful.
Sense of Security – Trust
“When people are made to feel secure and important and appreciated, it will no longer be necessary for them to whittle down others in order to seem bigger in comparison.”
How do I create a sense of security and trust?
- Create an atmosphere of communication and trust.
- Be able to answer these questions for those around you:
- Can I trust you?
- Are you committed?
- Do you care about me as a person?
“Brains are like hearts – they go where they are appreciated”
How could I better recognize others?
- Walk slowly through the crowd.
- Remember people’s names and take time to show them you care.
- Make other people a priority in your life over every other thing, including your agenda and schedule.
- Give others recognition at every opportunity.
“Lack of encouragement can hinder a person from living a healthy, productive life. But when a person feels encouraged, he can face the impossible and overcome incredible adversity. And the person who gives the gift of encouragement becomes an influencer in his/her life.”
How do I encourage others well?
- Keep some note cards at your desk, and when opportunities come up to encourage someone, write them a quick note. Emails are great, but those notes can be incredibly significant.
- If someone inspires you with their words or actions, tell them.
"People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
When you nurture people they receive several things:
- Positive Self-Worth
- Sense of Belonging
- Feeling of Significance
How to Become a Natural Nurturer:
- Commit to them
- Believe in them
- Be accessible to them
- Give with no strings attached
- Give them opportunities
- Lift them to a higher level.
Three takeaways for me from this chapter on Nurturing Other People:
1. I have the potential to add value to people’s lives by a kind word, a timely call, and a quick note.
2. Taking 5 minutes to invest in someone in this way may positively affect their entire week, potentially their year, and believe it or not, even the rest of their life.
3. There is no greater return on an investment of my time and energy that could I ask for, than to possibly give someone a sense of belonging and significance, a more positive perspective on life, and above all – hope.