I received an email this week from a friend I serve on a volunteer board with. She was asking a question about one of the financial reports. During her email, she confided that due to her lack of understanding about the financial reports, she felt inept to serve on the board. I knew exactly how my friend felt, because they are in the same feelings I had during my first term serving on the board.
I remember so clearly a conversation I had with the board chairman during my first term. It seemed to me like I didn’t bring any value and questioned whether I should even be on the board. He told me that I did in fact add value, and the best thing I could do was to continue asking questions like I had been doing in previous board meetings. Those comments really encouraged me, so I did what he said. After a few more board meetings, my own feelings of ineptitude began to wane and I started to feel like I was actually adding value.
I’m so glad I shared with the chairman how I was struggling. He gave me some encouraging advice, and also communicated that I was needed and offered more value than I realized. What’s even better is that I got to share that experience with my friend who is currently having a similar struggle. I was able to have empathy and offer encouragement and remind her of the value she brings.
It felt great to encourage someone and remind them of their value in a particular situation, especially when that value was in question for them.
None of us are perfect. We’ve all faced struggles that leave us feeling overwhelmed, inept, and even discouraged. The good news regarding these situations is that once we get past them, we can offer encouragement and perhaps a new perspective to someone who is experiencing a similar struggle.
Pay attention to what the people around you are saying. Listen for struggles they are facing that are similar to ones that you have experience and be quick to offer encouragement and to reinforce their value.
What a tremendous blessing to be able to encourage someone in their moment of need.