Leaders who lift get further than those who push down. Performace improves when people feel encouraged and declines when they’re discouraged or hopeless.
You don’t have to beat up high-performers – they do it to themselves – lift them instead.
All successful leaders encourage;
they fill people with hope.
The added responsibility of encouraging others may discourage you, especially if you aren’t good at it.
10 Ways to encourage others:
- Encourage in private. The more people involved the more likely they’ll feel a need to posture and protect.
- Agree with their feelings. Never minimize or correct. “Oh it’s not that bad,” is demeaning not encouraging.
- Break obstacles and challenges into bite-size pieces.
- Use questions. “Do you think you can deliver your report this afternoon.” Progress encourages.
- Remove a weight or responsibility, temporarily. Warning: some discouraged people need a new challenge.
- Explain their value. “You’re the best (fill in the blank) we have.”
- Get on their level. Avoid speaking as a superior.
- Encourage rest. “Why don’t you take a couple days off?” Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
- Let them talk.
Facebook contributors say leaders who encourage:
- Give people challenging assignments and check them periodically.
- Lead by example and practice what you preach.
- Communicate clearly and follow through.
- Recognize and reward progress.
More at: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.
A big one:
Have you argued with a discouraged person attempting to change their feelings? It’s futile. Confrontation closes discouraged people down.
Accepting people as they are – even if you must challenged negative behaviors – allows them to open the door to your encouragements.
Prevent discouragement in the first place:
Deal with discouragement before it happens by being a positive leader.
- Spend more time affirming and less time correcting.
- Give public acknowledgement, gratitude, and praise.
- Be available.
What techniques help you encourage discouraged people?