I encounter a lot of people. I talk to people in the grocery store, or a business meeting. I meet homeschool moms, and congregation members. I visit with people via social media who befriend me. I feel that sometimes it really is not my nature to be as extroverted as I seem to be, but somehow I really enjoy people and what we all have in common. We all want a better life. We all want to succeed.
I love talking to people, asking questions that may seem a bit personal. I love listening to their stories of triumph and of pain. I don’t disregard either. I often find myself in uncomfortable situations where the person has shared more information that I would like, when you were just picking up your cup of coffee
But in all my stories, I feel that here are three main things I believe people need to feel secure, to have closure, and to succeed in their life. That even in a grocery store line, you can see a person for the life they have instead of the dilemma they seem to be living. You could be the tipping point for them to have light bulb moment in their circumstance.
- People need to be heard. This is always first. I know that you might get tired of hearing the same old sob story or the same testimony a hundred times, but they need you to value their life. They need to know they are seen and heard by someone. This is sometimes hard, because it takes time. I know you can’t get into a deep conversation in the grocery line, but it makes a person feel valued and honored that you listened. Learning how to listen takes time and practice. Trying not to listen with bias or your own perspective. Try to get as much information from their perspective. There are some great books and videos that you can get on the art of communication. Start somewhere and try some tools. See the difference.
- People need admonishment. In a world that doesn’t often tell us all the the things were are doing right, we can be the person to give the encouragement and pep talk. Don’t say it just to get the person to stop talking. If you really listen, then you must really admonish. If they just told you that they live in a bad situation and they don’t know what they are going to do, then admonish them for being strong and courageous for doing what it takes to realize they were in this situation. Tell them all the good qualities about them and why they are going to make it. (Remember that you are not a counselor, or it may end up backfiring). Just learn to only give the information, they are ready to receive. Positivity goes a long way. Maybe in your own life, there is a lot of criticism, but this is not about you. I truly believe you reap what you sow. Sow admonishment and reap admonishment in abundance.
- People need you to believe in them. I am convinced that we need more people to tell us that we believe in each other. They may be working on a life changing goal, or a life long dream. They may have a really terrible support system. We need to be the person to say, “I believe you can.” Or “I believe you will.” This changes a person thought process to what may seem like a dream or a failing task, to a turning point in their life. You can’t just think it. You have to say it. I can’t tell you enough how important this is. We all need someone to believe in us. We all need to hear that someone believes in us. That motivates us to from, “maybe I can,” to “I think I can”.
I will admit, sometimes this doesn’t work. People have wounds or lies they believe that keep them from moving toward the next steps in their life. They may have to dig deeper to find out why. But our job is to only do what we can do. Listen, Admonish, and Believe. It may not change their life right away, and you may never see when it does, but you will be a key instrument in other person success. You could see how important your role was to a person you may never meet again.