Valuable Words

Here are my top three ways to convey encouragement without being phony or looking condescending. These are not out of a Dale Carnegie course or anything; it is just what has worked for me over the years.

When in conversation, if you build your point off another person’s thought, always credit that person before you make your point.

Example: “You know Tom is right, we don’t need to verify the contractor’s insurance because it is already sworn to in the specification, but I think it would be wise to secure his insurance certificate anyway to have it available in the file, should the question ever arise.”

Openly ask the question if others agree, as you are building your logic and assembling your argument.

Example: “So stop me if I am wrong, but what I am hearing is that most of us agree that moving the grand opening deadline back one month would ensure we pull it off professionally and without risk. So then we agree that I should inform the Marketing Department we cannot ensure an error-free event without more time; no less than a month?”

Find merit in other’s suggestions to keep team spirit alive and participation fully engaged even if the suggestion is totally inappropriate.

Example: “Aaron, I can always count on you to see things from an angle I never considered, but I think in this instance dropping balloons when the lecture is finished might send a mixed message. Let’s store that thought for another day, though. I could see that playing very well at the next retirement party. Thanks for that idea.”

You my not always be able to make someone’s day with your words. And alternatively, you may say something in passing you didn’t even know had power or verve behind it.

But if you take responsibility of your words, your reactions, your gestures and your impact on other people, you may just make all the difference in the value others find in the things that make up you.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at

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