Thanks to Peer Ministry Leadership for sharing this Great Idea in their January newsletter.

The Peer Ministry Leadership ‘Skill of the Month’ for January was ‘Becoming a Gift Namer’.

Mr. Fred Rogers is quoted as saying:

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have— something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.

The Peer Ministry Leadership post outlines the basics of becoming an ‘Afffirmer’, or Gift-Namer, as follows:

‘Imagine your group as leaders who look for the positives, who value differences, who affirm people by naming what they appreciate in others. Part of leadership is having the ability to observe and be attentive, not only to the needs of others, but also to the unique attributes and gifts of others. Gift-naming is a way of pulling out and enhancing what God has created within, rather than trying to externally put into people qualities that you think they should have. 

Write the following words on a piece of chart paper and lay it in the center of your group. 

  • When you…
  • I feel…
  • Because…
  • I hope… 

These words are often used to learn assertiveness skills needed to stand up for one’s self. You’ll discover these same words are powerful ways to name positive attributes in others. 

Each element is important!

When you… names a specific behavior or quality observed.

I feel… names the effect it has on you. It is rewarding to know you caused another to feel. 

Because… offers a specific consequence or impact of the behavior or quality that can be repeated. 

I hope… suggests and encourages future and possibilities and relational enhancements.’

You can learn more about Gift-Naming through Peer Ministry Leadership’s ‘Monthly Free Resource’, entitled Affirmation Skills, available here.

It’s an excerpt from the book, Real Skills for Dealing with Real People (Peer Ministry Leadership).

This would be a great way to recognize the conjunction of Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day this year!