"You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins." - Jim Stovall

Encouragement is one of the easiest ways we can help out our friends. Just by noticing and positively acknowledging what it is they're doing boosts their self-esteem and self-confidence. You'll notice that the more you encourage others, the more they'll want to be around you because everyone wants to feel good about themselves and what they do. When you encourage someone, they'll associate you with that good feeling and you'll build stronger relationships and better friendships.

"Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize." - Elizabeth Harrison

Unfortunately, we're sometimes quicker to criticize and judge others than to offer encouragement. We prefer to give our opinions and discuss our experiences rather than to quietly listen. When someone trusts us enough to tell us their ideas, goals, dreams and other pursuits, they're not seeking our approval or disapproval, but looking for someone to listen, understand and encourage.

Take a moment and think back to situations where you confided a goal or dream to someone and didn't receive the encouragement and support you would have liked. Were you mocked? Told that your goal was just a stupid idea? Ridiculed for not being realistic? Was the only thing you were told was a list of all the reasons why you can't do it or why it won't work? How did it make you feel? Most of us have experienced this negative response and we know how much a few kind words would have meant to us.

Understanding this, we should encourage others whenever we can. We can be the ones who make the difference in the life of another with just a few, simple words of encouragement, like:

"You have the skills to do that."
"You have the capacity to acquire the skills to be successful at..."
"You'll do a good job."
"Go for it!"
"Way to go!"
"Congratulations!"

While these simple phrases are good initial ways to communicate encouragement, you can take your support a step further by having a sincere interest in them and what they're doing. Giving your time and attention so they can speak openly and share their ideas is a valuable way to show encouragement.

Making people feel good about themselves and what they're doing builds their confidence to try something new, continue working towards their goals and dreams or, sometimes, to keep going when "the going gets tough." Encourage your friends and they'll want to be around you and like you even more.

Author's Bio: 

Laurie Wilhelm manages the Express Yourself to Success website, a one-stop e-source with information and techniques on communication skills, interpersonal skills, public speaking, networking and conflict resolution. Achieve your success by working effectively with others. Find out how you can boost your career and get a free eBook, What You Need to Succeed: Social Skills.