Have you ever had that person in your life that would talk about you in a positive light in public and private? I’ve had a few of those and I flock to them. They are beacons of light and encouragement which make the workplace better and everyone knows their name.
My youth pastor was one of them. Every time I met with them, they had a compliment for me. Every time I did something he was even remotely impressed with, he let me and everyone around know about it. He trusted me with very important things probably before I should have been. He pushed me to do more but always had a recommendation in what to do next. He believed in me. Even more so, in group meetings with other professionals in my field when I was still new to it, he was talking about me to the group as if I was a wise, experienced coworker when I felt anything but. He was a hero of mine and someone I entrust.
Another person is my first supervisor in counseling as a practicing professional. She is undoubtedly the smartest counselor I know and as such someone I always wanted to learn from. Yet, in the expertise she exudes, she has the humility to talk about how she keeps doing supervision and encourages her expectation of counselors to keep being supervised. She had strong boundaries, but deep compassion. In every session I meet with clients, I have that expectation to serve my clients as I was being supervised as.
I hope first and foremost, you have that one or two people in your life. This isn’t even talking about my parents, grandparents and adolescent supportive relationships in my life. You probably have some. If you don’t, they are out there.
Secondly, go be that to others as well. I say that knowing I don’t it well. I don’t even do this okay. I’m definitely a work in progress. But I want to try to get there. So keep trying.
What experience have you had with people who are generous?