It’s shockingly easy to discourage others. It takes no skill to knock people down. It’s the joy of fools to drag down.
Leaders encourage – losers discourage.
Discouragement comes quickly, easily, and without thought. Encouragement – positive momentum – is a fragile flame that requires fuel, protection, and repetition.
Encouragement fuels success;
discouragement destroys it.
Nine ways to discourage others:
- Pile on work until they’re buried and then punish their mistakes or short-falls.
- Always know more.
- Criticize from the sidelines.
- Focusing on the negative past or dark future.
- Neglect forward focus.
- Withholding recognition and reward.
- Minimizing hard work by saying, “You’ve done well but you still have far to go.”
- Take credit for their work.
- Improve on their work while not working yourself.
Power of encouragement:
Discouraged people overestimate problems and underestimate opportunities. Don’t argue with their assessments. The issue is discouragement. Focus on encouraging, perceptions will change. Encouraged people courageously see opportunities and take next steps.
Bonus tip: Intervene before discouragement sets in. It’s easier to fuel a fire than light one.
Weak leaders go with the flow. Effective leaders create positive flow while standing against discouragement.
Identify those who discourage others and minimize their roles. Coach and train them. If they don’t change, manage them out. Discouragers are destroyers.
What have you seen leaders do that discourage others?
Has someone encouraged you? What did they do?