Have you ever received a personal note from a special person in your life? Do you still have the note? Did it make a lasting impact on you, get you through a difficult time or provide confidence to tackle the task before you? Can you quote the words in it by memory? That is the power of a nurturing note.
A very simple way you can be somebody’s hero is by nurturing. Parents nurture their kids. Coaches nurture their players. Teachers nurture their class. Employers nurture their employees. It seems that without proper nurturing we leave those under our care no other option but to figure it out the best they can on their own. The Scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6, NIV). Another translation says it this way, “Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost” (The Message).
Nurturing is caring for others which teach them how to care. It’s encouraging the growth and development of others which teaches them how to encourage others. Once we understand that a kid isn’t a person to be dealt with, but a person to be developed we can begin providing proper instruction for their benefit. Nurturing isn’t going and getting a band-aid for someone (dependence), but showing them where the band-aids are (independence).
My mentor, John Maxwell says that “you can’t add value to people if you don’t value people.” If you don’t value people, get around others who do and learn what valuing others looks and sounds like. People need to answer these three questions, including your players:
Can you players answer these questions with a YES when they talk about you? Virginia Arcastle said, “When people are made to feel secure and important and appreciated, it will no longer be necessary for them to whittle down others in order to seem bigger in comparison.” In light of her comments, doesn’t it seem that if we learn the art of nurturing we could dissolve bullying others to some degree?
What I’m suggesting is hard work. Naturally, we are experts in telling others the negative areas that need improvement. It takes hard work to point out the things they are doing right. Pointing out problems gives a person permission to live there, not the possibility of growth and development. What we give attention to gets the focus. Nurturing provides a way to focus on the possibilities of improvement where the opposite leaves a person feeling like they will never measure up.
Here are 3 nurturing notes that will help you appreciate, encourage, recognize, reward, support and believe in those under your care that will help them thrive. Note: Each card to each recipient deserves your personal touch. One note reproduced and sent to everybody loses power. Personalize each note. It’s not an exercise to check off our daily to-do’s, it’s an opportunity to bring out the best in others.
Card One: Polite – This is more of a generic note that says, “I see you” and “you matter”. An example could read, “Hey, Landon! I was thinking of you today. You put a smile on my face! Have a great day!” Sign your name.
Card Two: Performance – This note focuses on a recent accomplishment or something you saw them do that needs to be pointed out. An example could read, “Hey, Betty! I saw you helping your friend today during lunch. You’re great at helping others! Keep up the good work!” Sign your name.
Card Three: Potential/Possibility – It’s obvious that you see them and what they are doing. Now, let’s help them see what they can become. This note lets them know that you believe in them and helps them believe in themselves more confidently. This note can also let them know you are in their corner to help them become the best they can be. An example could read, “You can do anything you set your mind to doing. I know you’ll do what it takes to do great on your test tomorrow. P.S. If you need any help getting ready, let me know!” Sign your name.
Keep in mind that sending emails, texting and such are okay. But, writing a personal note is always the best and longest lasting option. There are more ways to nurture others, but this is one way to get your journey started.
Boyd Hamlin is the Director of Program Development for VOLTA Sports and Leadership Development Group. VOLTA offers a unique three-pronged approach to, coaching, playing and sports leadership beyond the Xs and Os. VOLTA provides interactive workshops, peer mentoring, executive coaching and an eLearning platform. Boyd brings over 25 years in Student Ministry encouraging, equipping, empowering students and leaders to excel beyond their known potential, to reach and exceed their personal goals, and to lead and serve others. For more information, click here: VOLTA