These days, much of my free time is focused intently on either writing articles or investigating business opportunities. I can say I’ve mostly eliminated excessive time wasting activities like playing on the Xbox, watching TV and browsing Digg. I’m feeling more productive and I’m getting things done. Life is good!

However, as with anything worth accomplishing, I understand my transition to a full-time Entrepreneur will naturally take time and perseverance. Which is why I’d like to say thank you to my family and friends. They’ve been helping by providing encouragement especially during periods when I was feeling down and demotivated. In case you’re wondering, this happens every now and then, in particular when I’m trying to overcome my self imposed limitations. This writing gig is hard work!

Let me share with you a few techniques of encouraging others I have observed which works. I can pretty much vouch for each of these because they have been applied on me at one stage or another.

  • Show genuine interest. I believe this is by far the most effective way of encouraging others. Let them know you care. Express genuine interest by asking questions. Get them talking. I find the act of talking and thinking can fire up the engines (roar!). With some hope and luck, this can lead to positive action. But don’t be fake about it and don’t go overboard.
  • Acknowledge what’s important to them. When you acknowledge what’s important to others, you provide a form of affirmation and validation about who they are and what they’re doing. Whether they can admit it or not, each of them deep down craves this acknowledgement. The affirmation and validation is like nitro for their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Say “Well done”. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. If it’s easy, then it’s not worth doing. Worthwhile things always takes time and effort. One good way of providing encouragement is simply by saying “Well done” or “Congratulations”. These magical Words of Encouragement at the right time can make all the difference between “keep going” and “give up”.
  • Say “Thank you”. Common courtesy. Good manners. That what this tip is about. It’s only natural to expect a reward after hard work. It’s only natural to thank someone when they do something for you. You can start now. Thank your wife after she cooks a nice meal. Thank your friend for lending you that Stargate DVD. A simple thank you lets others know what they have done is worthwhile and meaningful to you.
  • Reciprocate the favour. If someone does something nice for you, a great way to show your appreciation is simply to reciprocate the favour. Think of this as a pendulum. They do something nice for you. You do something nice for them. They do something nice for you. You do something nice for them. And so on…
  • Respond with something unexpected. Another effective way to encourage others is to respond with something totally unexpected. Out of the blue. That’s when the maximum impact is delivered. Such acts can reach them at an emotional level and our brains are hard wired to respond to emotional things.
  • Ask for advice or confide in them. This is like flattery. Haven’t you felt like you were on top of the world when your peers asked you for advice or confided in you about something personal or important to them? Didn’t that make you want to help and do everything you can to ensure their faith in you is well founded?
  • Offer to lend a hand. Waiting for someone to ask you for advice is passive. You can be proactive by offering to lend a hand. If that person sees that you are willing to commit your own time and energy in their interests, they will be more committed to seeing it through and less likely to give up themselves.

In my experience, whenever my family and friends have shown genuine interest in my goals, I became more enthusiastic myself. Often my wife would ask – “How am I going?” or “What are you looking at now?” or “I like your latest article”. Simple words? Perhaps. But delivered at the right time, the effect is profound! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – enlist your family and friends in your cause.

Do you have a spouse or friend who is trying to accomplish something and you need to provide encouragement? Do you have a child who is thinking about a certain vocation but is unsure? Perhaps, your son or daughter would like to pursue a career in the arts, interior design or as a sports athlete? If you do, then they are going to need as much encouragement as they can get.

Giving encouragement can boost that person’s motivation, which in turn lead to actions and finally results. As I’ve previously written, personal development is about incremental changes and step by step improvements. Only in this manner can we inch closer to fulfilling greater and more ambitious goals.

So, start now. As a recipient of encouragement, I can attest to its effects. I’m feeling great. I’m feeling positive. I’m getting things done.

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49 Responses to “8 simple things you can do to encourage others”

  1. » Encourage and get encouraged - Former Debtor says:

    [...] David Cheong has written a wonderful tutorial on encouraging people. Building a vital social enviroment is – so I believe – an utterly useful basic on solving any middle- to long-term problem. Manking is designed as a pack, and doing things alone is incredibly more troublesome than working in an environment that supports you. [...]

  2. Ryan Fox says:

    Well done, Dave.

    Thanks for all of this great advice!

    I hope you’re succeeding with your dreams. I’m trying to follow, though I’m very far behind you, and it all seems to be very “worthwhile”.

  3. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Ryan. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

    Remember that life is not a race. You don’t “win” by finishing first. Each of us have different backgrounds and circumstances surrounding our lives. Keep building upon each success and you’ll eventually attain your goals.

    Good luck!

  4. my_sn says:

    William Arthur said it most decisively in:-
    ” Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you.”

    yes, correction does much, but encouragement does more.

  5. Bryan C Fleming says:

    July 17th Personal Growth Blog Carnival

    Welcome to the July 17, 2006 edition of personal growth carnival.It’s been a busy week with lots of submissions. There’s a lot of great writing going on out there. So here we go!

  6. Creating a Better Life says:

    The Personal Development Carnival – July 24, 2006

    Welcome to the latest edition of the Personal Development Carnival!
    This is the last edition of this carnival that will be posted on this blog for a while. I don’t want to announce yet where it’s moving to next week as all of the particula…

  7. Greg Hartnett’s Linkblog says:

    [...] Encourage Others – 8 tips to show you how to help others achieve. [...]

  8. David Scrimshaw says:

    This is a good list.

    I was wondering if you could elaborate a bit on “Respond with something unexpected” because I’m not sure what you mean by it.

    For “Offer to lend a hand” I would add that it’s best if you can suggest specific things you might do. What you offer may be exactly what’s needed, but even if it’s not, it will give the recipient an idea of how much time and effort you’re prepared to contribute.

  9. Joan says:

    In case you didn’t notice, this posting is currently listed as “hot” on

  10. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Joan,

    No I hadn’t noticed but thanks for letting me know! I just turned on the computer and haven’t had time to check the server logs yet.


  11. Fantastic Blog and Fantastic Writer at Kenzoid says:

    [...] I was browsing the popular bookmarks today when I came across “8 simple things you can do to encourage others” by Dave Cheong.  It sounded interesting as my wife is starting her own business and she could use some encouragement.  What I found is a treasure trove of brilliant posts.  After reading about 4 of them – beautifully cross linked from one another – I gained a huge respect for Dave and his blog.  It will definitely become a regular read. [...]

  12. Hui Zhou says:

    Dave, I like your lists and indeed agree with you. However, I would never remember an 8-list. It just happended that I just have blogged that I only can live by one priniciple. May I summerize your 8 simple things as one principle — appreciate them and show your appreciation?

  13. Anonymous says:

    8 simple things you can do to encourage others

    Let me share with you a few techniques of encouraging others I have observed which works. I can pretty much vouch for each of these because they have been applied on me at one stage or another.

  14. Tres Colores » Blog Archive » 8 formas de animar a tu prójimo says:

    [...] Traducido libremente de 8 simple things you can do to encourage others. [...]

  15. 8 Ways to Encourage Others - Ian’s Messy Desk says:

    [...] Dave Cheong has written a helpful post with some simple advice for encouraging others. There is nothing on the list that’s “rocket science”, but given how little we follow through with encouragement, you might think it was a highly complex process. It’s not. Get out there and show somebody some encouragement today. [...]

  16. Jacin Steele » Blog Archive » How to Get to Easy Street Today says:

    [...] One site particularly caught my attention. In his article, 8 Simple Things You can do to Encourage Others, Dave Cheong states: Say “Well done”. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. If it’s easy, then it’s not worth doing. Worthwhile things always takes time and effort. One good way of providing encouragement is simply by saying “Well done” or “Congratulations”. These magical Words of Encouragement at the right time can make all the difference between “keep going” and “give up”. [...]

  17. daniel says:

    a good read.valued.keep up the good work.

  18. Akkam’s Razor says:

    [...] 8 simple things you can do to encourage others (tags: changes psychology) [...]

  19. Daniel Schildt says:

    This article has some good things that can help to make life more interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  20. Learning about the Web » Blog Archive » Encouragement says:

    [...] It is not my usual style, but hey, it pays to go outside the square every so often.  The following article 8 simple things you can do to encourage others has some simple, yet inspiring ideas. [...]

  21. 八个鼓励别人的方法 » 生活帮-LifeBang says:

    [...] “八个鼓励别人的方法” [...]

  22. People skills first, management skills later at says:

    [...] A post by Dave Cheong got me thinking about the flood of literature on management and leadership. It’s insane how many books are out there offering the final, decisive, how-to guide for getting people to do what needs to be done. [...]

  23. Brian Kim says:


    Loved the article. You never know how important and what kind of impact you can make on people simply by taking the time to encourage them. I believe there’s a scripture in the Bible that states something like: Oh how good an encouraging word is at the right time. I even know people who have literally been saved from committing suicide, just because someone took the time and effort to encourage them.

    Thanks again.

  24. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the comment. I think if people took the time to encourage others, all our lives collectively would be better, happier and more fulfilling.



  25. Oas Kamal says:


    All of your suggestions hit on what I would summarize under having an appreciation for people and trying to address their needs. Not only that, but, as I mention in my site, not doing so with the intention of manipulation to get some ulterior productivity, but doing so sincerely; I’ve found that when it comes natural, then the productivity is a natural byproduct.


  26. Quality Links for The Weekend says:

    [...] Dave Cheong wrote an article that deserves to be read by all. It’s entitled: 8 Simple Things You Can Do To Encourage Others. We all need encouragement and his posts has simple, yet VERY powerful things you can easily to do provide it. [...]

  27. jorgempf says:

    i first comment on digg, but them, this is the first place where to say that ive read 4 of dave’s posts until now, i liked them all, but this is the best for me.
    thank you Dave :)

  28. ashok baktha says:

    You say personal growth is about incremental changes. Although there is much truth to this, look out for transformational growth, which can happen through external forces, for example, a spiritual guru.

    Somewhere I read a quote (or was it a movie dialogue?), which effectively said, “You cannot change your mind using your mind”.

    I know of many instances of individuals who were transformed just when they saw some other enlightened soul. This was evidenced by strong tangible facts. The same person who was a non-vegetarian became a complete vegetarian from that day onwards, for no particular reason.

  29. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Ashok,

    What you say is very true! Sometimes incremental changes cannot give you the type of transformation that can change your life. I too have seen the impact of life changing events and what effect these have had on the people involved.

    As a kid, I remember reading that “No one can make us feel inferior without our consent”. What this means to me is we can choose how we react to external events. A proactive person also puts themselves in situations where positive life changing events occur.

    Thank you for your comment. I look forward to more insights from you.


  30. Linda Zdanowicz says:

    David, I really enjoy your posts. Many of them are very applicable to my own work and they help managers focus on what is most important. I once read that what happens at work during the day affects what goes on around the dinner table at night. Knowing how much we impact the people we work with should be a good reminder to make it positive. Thanks for the list, I’ll keep it handy.

  31. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Linda,

    Thank you for your comment. You’ve made an excellent point. Since most of us spend at least 40 hours at work which is the majority of the time we are actually awake, making work a pleasant place to be is pretty important.

    If each of us contribute just a little to the common good, work may actually become tolerable! :)

    Thanks for dropping by.


  32. Being a new dad says:

    [...] How to encourage others [...]

  33. Mondi Sintetici » Blog Archive » 8 semplici azioni per incoraggiare gli altri says:

    [...] Via Dave Cheong [...]

  34. Bryan C. Fleming » Blog Archive » July 17th Personal Growth Blog Carnival says:

    [...] First I’d like to introduce Jerry Lopper with Believe in an Easy Life. This is a quick read on positive thinking. Next up is Peter Kua who has an interesting perspective on Innovation. Dave Cheong has a nice piece on 8 simple things you can do to encourage others. [...]

  35. Nsubuga Rogers says:

    I am a catholic married man aged 47. I am blessed with three children; Richard 9, Agnes 6 and Anne 4.

    Previously I served in a Catholic Religious Congregation for 17 years as a Brother in Uganda. I rezigned in 1998 to have a family and to work in Prisons as a Social Worker.

    My recent experience in Darfur has challenged me a lot. Humanity against humanity. Despite of all these problems faced daily by IDPs many can still smile and cope with their problems with hope that tomorrow will be better.

    This feeling of nurturing a ray of hope in life made me to meditate on problems which people are facing, accidents met, curses anticipated, death, sickness, poverty, imprisonment, failure, HIV/AIDS, conflicts, hatred, lack and bad luck.

    In the end I have come up with a Book Project written in a widely known local dialect in Uganda (Luganda), but with a plan to translate it first in english and other languages. Funding is the problem for publishing it.

    The objective of this Book is to raise conciousness among many people who have lost hope and those on their way to dispare, that problems and lack of luck should not be looked at as an end in themselves but as a means to somethig greater. I want the people to be in control of their own destiny and able to reverse the destructive pattern that have permeated our society for generations. Thoughts of failure and bad luck are stored in our mind. We need to reverse the trend have hope where there are difficulties and problems.When we change ourselves we can change others. I am calling upon people to unblock their negative feelings which keep them stagnated.

    The Book (manuscript) also labours much to raise public awareness for people to start looking positively to the challenges of life with a spiritual eye. “Fears hold us back from achieving our destiny and can also cause us to lose what we have already achieved. Every human being is a work in progress. Any pain, disappointment, or chaos, that exists in our lives is not because this is how life is meant to be, but only because we have not yet finished the work that brought us here. The work quite simply, is the process of freeing ourselves from the domination of the human ego and creating an affinity with the shining essence of God.”

    The last chapter 5, of my little book talks about the meaning of being remembered by God in our Hopes, problems, difficulties and also joys.

    Nsubuga Rogers,
    P.O. Box 6523,
    Kampala, Uganga.

  36. KnowHR Blog » Blog Archive » 8 Simple Ways to Encourage People says:

    [...] Dave Cheong has a list of 8 Simple Things You Can Do To Encourage People. Saying “thank you” is high on the list. Bookmark this article:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  37. Make Some Workplace Relationship Resolutions - H.R. eSources says:

    [...] Read Dave’s post: 8 simple things you can do to encourage others [...]

  38. Tips to Encourage Others : Fair or Unfair says:

    [...] Dave Cheong offers the following 8 simple things you can do to encourage others: Show genuine interest…Let them know you care. Express genuine interest by asking questions. Get them talking… [...]

  39. Ronela C. Enguito says:

    Hello Dave ,

    Hi , Im Nela it is my previlage to say thank you very much. You help me a lot before reading the 13 problem solving nuggets everyone should know. I have had a big problem when my husband meet an vehicular accident in Lanao Norte going to his work of duty as police last sept. 5 2006 morethan a year ago. as if that everything is useless i dont know how to solve it but thru reading i feel confident to faced the problems . Thank you very much . Hope you can share/ motivate more people to stand during difficult times like me. at they same time share it to my values students as model. God Bless

  40. laursonna says:

    You cannot always win; there will be times when you will lose and you better prepare for those moments.

  41. The Cart Blog » Blog Archive » MMM: Be encouraged! And encourage! says:

    [...] Blogger Dave Cheong wrote a great post on the topic of providing encouragement that I commend to you. addthis_url = ‘’; addthis_title = ‘MMM%3A+Be+encouraged%21++And+encourage%21+’; addthis_pub = ”; [...]

  42. Dean Ruan says:

    Thanks so much! I’m really aspired by your tips. Not I know how to ask those related questions in job interviews!

  43. Jim Li says:

    Hi, Dave

    Thanks for your work to put those wonderful stuff on the web. It does help people. I am learning a lot from these encouraging words. At the moment I am teaching in a small town in New Zealand. Teaching youth is hard when you are not native English speaker.

    Like you said “things worth doing takes time.” I will insist on doing my best. I will success through my commitment and good working.Thank you. I will visit your web more often for encouraging and inspiring myself.

  44. ali says:

    This article got loads of excellent things that can help to make life more appealing. Thanks for your contribution

  45. Karen says:

    This was a good article. It is well written. Just reading it encourages me to keep trying to write. It gives me the motive to help others by encouraging them. I may not be able to do much but that I can do!

  46. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  47. 8 simple things you can do to encourage others « simplehuman blog says:

    [...] It is amazing how much a simple "thank you" or "good job" can do to one’s motivation and self esteem. Here’s a great post on the subject with 8 tips you can take to help encourage others. For the full post click here: [...]

  48. JF says:

    Nice article, didnt know that u only need 8 simple things to change a person. :D

  49. Bellstar says:

    I enjoyed the article. I agree wholeheartedly. The simple things are the powerful things. We just overlook them.

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