Valuable Words

I think time is something we should all be more generous with anyway, so in that spirit, I present the following.

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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2 comments on “Valuable Words

  1. TK Kelly on said:

    Thanks for the wonderful article and the great tips! Every once in awhile when I need a positive “pick me up” I have an “It’s A Wonderful Life” experience and look back on the positive imprints that I left behind. You truly never know how impactful a positive action or word can truly be.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  2. D. R. Ochs on said:

    I learned something a few years ago when I returned to my alma mater for an award ceremony. I had to give a speech, and I realized while preparing it that all those folks at the Oscars who stand up and say thankyouthankyouthankyou really mean it. They’ve looked back and seen the tiny moments where small, soft words from someone had huge impacts on their lives. The speech ended up being about those moments, and it led me to get back in touch with some of those folks. So kudos to you, Ron, and all those who encourage others.

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