On not holding back good words

Carson Bem [1].jpg

Earlier in the week, a thought popped into my head about somebody I know and how they do extremely valuable, often unrecognized work. I thought about firing them a quick message- then reconsidered. It might just be a little awkward. Then I decided, holding back encouraging words is sort of dumb, so I sent that message.

It turned out to be pretty timely encouragement for her at just the right moment.

But why do we do this? Why do we hold back good words for other people? So many of us just need that occasional reminder from somebody else that we’re doing a solid job.

Another time, I caught myself saying really nice things about an intern… the second he left the room. I made myself repeat them once he was back.

I’m realizing sometimes I get shy and stingy with compliments and affirmation. I don’t know where along the lines I got the message that affirming what somebody else was doing was awkward, but that’s a myth I hope to take apart just by working against those instincts over and over.

Philippe Lazaroon, on1