Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.02.04 PMIt is often said behind every great man, there is a great woman. I prefer saying — ‘beside’ every great man, there is a great woman. However, how can that woman encourage her man without coming off as a nag? How can one inspire their partner without rubbing them the wrong way?

I decided to round-up a few of my male friends to discuss the dos and don’ts when encouraging your partner.

Do be opened to discuss his goals and dreams.

Don’t give off the impression that you know what’s best for him. It makes you seem like a know-it-all and let’s be real who likes a know-it-all?

Do cheer him on and be his No. 1 fan.

Don’t try to force the issue as if your willpower alone will be enough to motivate him.

Do pay attention to the tone you’re using.

Don’t enable any negative attitude or situation. No free passes.

Do be as caring and compassionate as possible.

Don’t tell him he can’t or that his dreams are too big. The worst thing a woman can do is shoot down her guy’s ego and/or confidence.

Do be as honest and straightforward. Talk with less feelings/emotions and limit yourself to facts.

Don’t suggest what you would do. Suggest what’s in his best interest.

The overall consensus: be aware of time and place.

As stated by one friend, timing is essential because you want to make sure your partner is willing to have the conversation and not feel like you’re attacking him with unsolicited advice. He continued, “Having a conversation as such is not very productive in the morning or directly after a long day of work. Execution of time is imperative!”

Everyone also agreed when debating on having the conversation set the mood. “Prepare a meal and then try the encouragement,” one friend said. Another agreed and added, “Try to give your advice/suggestion during a walk, whether it’s over a bridge or just around your neighborhood.”

Lastly, never approach the situation empty-handed. Be prepared with creative solutions and resources. And of course, verbally reward him for either successfully executing his goal(s) or at least trying to.

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