The power of a few positive words

Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a positive contribution to someones life.

The ripple effect can be huge.

It can be listening – without judging.

It can be as simple as a hand on the shoulder – no words, just to let that person know you’re there for them.

It can be a few carefully chosen words in support that they can reflect on.

It can be passing on feedback to someone who you know made a real difference too.

I had some amazing feedback on Sunday that I’d like to share, because I think we’re all capable of making a difference. All of us.

The conversation went something like this…

But first some background:

The back story:

A friend of mine placed a message on Facebook last year – rather sad, saying their role had been disestablished. They’d been with the organisation for quite a few years. The news rocked them. They didn’t see it coming.

I saw their Facebook post and went back to them asking if they’d been offered an Outplacement or Career Transition Programme by their employer. They hadn’t. I knew their employer had offered such a service to other employees in the past. So I suggested they follow up and ask their manager and HR if they would be prepared to provide such a programme. They did, and the results are spelt out below.

Have a read, it’s our dialogue. And this is why I believe it’s the simple things that can make a positive contribution to someones life.

The conversation…


“…I just wanted to thank you; when I lost my job and posted about it you asked if [my company] offered “outplacement services”. I had no idea what they were but, as you’d mentioned it, I did ask and lo and behold they did. To cut a long story short this turned out to be very very useful, the person I got (From [the outplacement company]) was great and was instrumental in getting me back on my feet . So, although you merely asked a question, you really helped me, so thank you 🙂”


That’s really nice of you to say that. Can I pass this on to [the outplacement company]?

I’m pleased [the outplacement company] were able to assist you. Can I ask who your coach was?


“More than happy for you to pass on to [the outplacement company], it was [the coach] who helped me.

Cheers 🙂”

Now, the reality is I simply asked a question. They had to follow through. It was their employer who said “yes”. It was their coach that delivered a great experience.

The person went on to secure a new role. But just as important – they regained their confidence and self belief.

It took just a bit of thought and a few words.

So if you hear of someone who is faced with a forced change of employment, reach out. You may make a difference.
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