Write Notes of Encouragement

I have believed in the power of written notes of encouragement for many years. Written notes don’t have to come from someone famous to be encouraging. A kind word given from the heart is always well received. If you’ve never mastered the practice of sending handwritten notes to people, then I want to encourage you to try this often neglected way of winning with people.

In his book The Power of Encouragement, my friend David Jeremiah says, “Written encouragement comes directly from the heart, uninterrupted and uninhibited. That’s why it’s so powerful.” Haven’t you known that to be true?

Nineteenth-century writer Walt Whitman struggled for years to get anyone interested in his poetry. He became very discouraged. Then he received a note that read: “Dear sir, I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of Leaves of Grass. I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed. I greet you at the beginning of a great career.” It was signed by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I can’t help but wonder what might have happened to Whitman had Emerson not invested in him by writing those kind words. That note was like fresh air to Whitman, who breathed in that encouragement and was inspired to keep writing. But you don’t have to be a professional writer to make a difference in someone’s life. Just taking the time to write is evidence of your willingness to invest in that person.

—25 Ways to Win with People – John Maxwell



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