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“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2 NIV)

Unsolicited praise from someone is the best praise.

Last week, my husband came home from his weekly tennis match with the guys.  This particular week was the 10th anniversary of the day I met my husband.  As I do, on our page, I wrote an adoring post or two about my man.  One of the guys, teasing him, said, “She’s a good writer, but she loves her some, Ron.”  When my husband told me this, my response was, “He said I was a good writer?”  My husband was astonished, “That’s what you got out of that story?”  Of course, I focused on the praise; who wouldn’t?  Unintentional complements carry weight.

Praise people regularly.

When someone does something good, acknowledge it.  Don’t hold back; use your words to lift them.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV)

Encouraging words start with a name.  As a coach, I meet people every day.  Remembering names is my biggest challenge and my highest priority.  Nothing praises a person more than remembering their name.  If you’ve ever had someone forget your name, you know what I mean.  An instant hurt occurs. Forgetting your name implies you aren’t significant enough to remember.  God taught me this lesson in a unique way.

While at a coach’s training in Greensborough, NC, I had the privilege to learn from Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) CEO, Dan Santorum.  When I walked into check-in, he was at the table.  I showed him my I.D. as requested.  Our conversation was brief and to the point, highly forgettable.  A few minutes later, when the training started, he began with his introductory speech.  As he spoke, he would mention someone’s name, mine included, outlining our day.  At the end of his talk, he said these words:

“While I was talking, I used your names.  What most of you don’t know,  one person’s name I did not use.  Who was it?”

I’ll never forget this group of 30-some coach’s looking around to see whose name he didn’t use.  From the back, a hand raised, Dan identified him as John.  Dan made his point.  When you forget someone’s name, they know it.  Make remembering names a priority in your coaching career.  Not knowing their name implies they don’t have value.  Everyone is important.  Because of Dan, when you listen to me on the courts, you hear names, not just instruction.

Start with a name.  Then look for ways to give unsolicited praise to the people God brings in your life.  Lift them.  Encourage them.  Let them know; they matter too.

Question of the Day:

Who can you praise today by remembering their name?

Further Reading: Ezekiel 10-11 NIV, Hebrews 6:1-20 NIV, Psalm 105:16-36 NIV, Proverbs 27:1-2 NIV

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