When was the last time someone encouraged you or you encouraged someone else?
I was quite disappointed by the lack of encouragement I was hearing at a recent trade event. My ears were burning as I heard moaning, grumbling and negative comments — some of which I knew not even to be true.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to vent. But there comes a point when you do have to assess whether you are more prone to saying something negative or positive and the impact this has on other people.
I read a great story this summer about the British Olympic diver Chris Mears.
Mears had a tough start in life. His mother died from breast cancer when he was just a toddler. But another experience at an early age led to much happier moments. When Mears was just seven years old a life guard at his local swimming pool in Reading encouraged him. This life guard didn’t even know him, but he saw Mears had a talent and told him he should look at taking up diving professionally.
Fast forward to today and the 22-year-old has won Gold in the 3m springboard synchronised diving, both at the 2012 Olympics in London and this year’s games in Rio. Oh and he also won Gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. But who’s counting?
This just shows how a little bit of encouragement can go a long way — to Rio and back with a medal in fact!
I think our industry can learn from this. Yes there is an element of competition, but why shouldn’t we also encourage others if we see them doing something worthy of praise?
With International Jewellery London coming up at the beginning of this month, we have a great opportunity to practice this. I challenge all of you to make a point of going up to at least one person during the trade show at Olympia and say something encouraging. Maybe a retailer has been doing something particularly innovative that has caught your attention. Or perhaps during the show you will see a supplier showcase some exceptional jewels, or hear someone make a point during a seminar that really inspires you.
Let’s not be an industry that’s quick to judge and slow to encourage. Let’s lead the way and build each other up.
Who will you encourage this month?