Encouragement When It Is Tough


There are times when the job is tough. There are times you notice that your co-worker or team member is working hard, doing all the right things, but the tasks seem to be uphill all the way.

I once participated in a running relay from Chattanooga to Nashville, being one member of a 12 person team. My last leg was the longest, it had the most elevation changes, and it was hot. I started great, but it wasn’t long until I was struggling.

Halfway into the 9-mile run, I was passed by someone who didn’t seem to be struggling at all. “Did he somehow get more than my three hours of sleep the night before?” The fact that he was passing me was a little disheartening until he said a few words: “good job, your running great, and you look strong.”

Those few words were like getting a few more hours of sleep combined with a shot of caffeine and sugar.

The rest of the run was tough, but it seemed I knew I could do it because someone gave me a little encouragement.

We have all faced similar times, maybe not running on the road but more than likely in our job. Every job has its days and tasks that are tough.

How would a few words of encouragement from a co-worker change your perspective?

How could you change the perspective and give a shot of energy to a co-worker or team member?

After experiencing those words of encouragement on a tough run, I realized I need to be more intentional in how I encourage my peers, and the staff and volunteer teams I lead.

Here’s what I am thinking:

  • be aware of the projects my team is working on

  • see how the projects or tasks are affecting their attitude

  • ask often, is something I can help with

  • when it seems they are struggling, help them evaluate how they are doing

  • speak words of support to them, not just about the task but about them as men and women

  • go back to them often and check on them

Have you had an experience when words of encouragement gave you renewed energy to finish a task or project?

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