Can positive encouraging words make a difference? Can positive encouraging words make a difference instantly? I want to share a true story of a situation that happened some years ago at the Detroit airport. With my training and consulting, I have traveled extensively. Many times upon going to use the airport restroom, I will see a janitor or custodian maintaining the restroom. They will be mopping, cleaning out the toilets, wiping the counters, cleaning the mirrors, restocking the paper towels, etc. While this is happening, travelers are going in and out restrooms….and not saying anything to them…treating them as if they are almost invisible.
So some years ago, I was at the Detroit airport on a training project trip and went to go use the rest room. When I went to wash my hands, I saw a janitor in the restroom mopping the floor. As I am washing my hands I could hear this janitor “grumbling, mumbling murmuring and complaining under his breath.” He clearly was not in a good mood at all. So what did I decide to? After drying off my hands , I decided in that moment to go greet him. I said, “Hey sir, Good morning (with lots of pleasant enthusiasm)! I just want to thank you for keeping these restrooms clean! It looks GREAT in here! And I really appreciate it! You have a great day!” Now, what do you think his reaction was? His reaction was (with positive pleasant enthusiasm)…”Hey, good morning brother! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I APPRECIATE THAT! You have a good day too!” In just a split second… his voice…his energy…his spirit…his countenance…ALL changed! Positive words make a difference! Encouraging words make a difference! By the way…. from that point through today, I will try to greet every airport custodian I see and thank them.
Sometimes, when I teach about using positive words as leader, sometimes I will get the feedback: “Pete, are we talking about being ‘warm and fuzzy’ with people?…because I am not a warm and fuzzy person.” What we are talking about is being effective with people and being effective with ourselves. Science has now validated the power of sharing positive and encouraging words. There is a chemical in the brain called “serotonin.” Serotonin is known in the psychology world as the “feel good” chemical. When serotonin is released in healthy amounts in the brain, it causes your feeling of well being. Studies have shown that when somebody shares with you praise or positive encouraging word…and it is sincere, genuine and real…..it will cause the brain many times to release serotonin. With this healthy serotonin release, you can have the stabilization of good feeling of happiness and well-being.
Research has also found that positive encouraging words can affect the body in other ways. Positive encouraging words help to lower blood pressure. Positive encouraging words help the body with the immune system fighting off disease. Positive encouraging words help with the healthy oxygenation of blood cells. They have also found that positive encouraging words can speed up the healing process. Positive encouraging words can affect you from a mental and psychological stand point, and also from physical standpoint. In Proverbs 18:21 it says, “The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.” So the answer is absolutely YES, positive encouraging words can make a difference! ….immediately make a difference! Speak those powerful positive words of “life!”
About the author
- Owner/Founder of Second Wind-Finish Strong, Inc. As a professional keynote speaker, leadership coach & published author, Pete helps people, teams and organizations “redefine the possible.”
- 36 years experience in food service, Darden Restaurants “Brilliance Award” Winner
- Expertise in design, development and delivery of management training and leadership development
- 100K Ultra-Marathoner ….Coached & trained 45 runners to complete their first half or full marathon
- As a contract trainer (2016 & 2017) earned national top ten finalist in highest customer satisfaction
- Long history of helping teams in corporate training roles and as a consultant with achieving record high guest satisfaction……Dedicated “hands-on” servant leader