Leaders correct too much and affirm too little.
Hold monthly affirmation sessions. Here’s how.
Invite one key player to an affirmation session for the sole purpose of encouragement. Be prepared. You do this so little it may freak them out.
First, clarify mission, vision, and values.
Second, honor their admirable qualities, outstanding service, consistency of character, and growing potential. Explain how they fit in. Say things like, “You’re helping us become who we want to be when you ______.” Be specific.
Third, ask how things are going in their area.
Fourth, say how can we help.
Fifth, discuss their future direction within the organization and beyond.
Finally, hand them a thank card with hand-written notes from each member of the team.
Do not offer suggestions or improvements.
The only time improvement enters the conversation is when the leadership team asks, “How can we help?” At that time, any discussion of improvement focuses on the organization and the leadership team, not on the person being affirmed.
It takes about an hour to affirm a key organizational player. It may sound a little like sitting in a circle and singing kumbaya but it’s the best hour of the day. It does as much for you as for them.
How are you affirming people?