When a person is discouraged, she often feels alone. The perception is that she’s got to handle the situation by herself.
If you’ve completed the first three steps well, you’ve helped her get a balanced view of herself and the current challenge. In the final step you remind her that she doesn’t have to go it alone.
You were there for her before this setback, and you haven’t withdrawn your support. You let her know that you still believe in her and care about her well-being and success.
You could say, “Let me know if I can help. I’m here for you.”
That reassurance gives the person permission to come back to you if she continues to experience difficulties or additional setbacks. It’s a huge relief to know she’s got someone in her corner.
It’s also a good idea to ask, “What do you need from me now? What would support look like?”
These questions prevent you from making assumptions about the type of support that would be most helpful to this particular individual. Letting her tell you requires her to think about – and then articulate – what would be helpful to her going forward.
If you follow these four steps when someone needs encouragement, you’ll be in a position to give them a gift that lasts a lifetime. You’ll convey that you genuinely care and understand. And the desire to be understood is one of the core needs of every human being.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Leo Buscaglia, American author