When did you last encourage someone?
One of the most important components of great leadership and effective teams is the development of a culture of encouragement. As a leader, how often do you share encouraging words to those who are doing a great job with the work you have delegated to them?
Sadly, there are many workplaces where encouraging words are rarely heard. Here are some tips about encouraging others;
Encouraging others doesn’t come naturally for many leaders. They know that people are doing a good job but they don’t take the time to thank them and encourage them. Don’t hide behind the “it’s not my thing” argument. I believe that if you are not an encourager then you are not a fully effective leader.
Do it regularly
Okay, having read the previous comment you are going to go out and encourage someone. That’s great; but unless it becomes a part of your style and the culture of the team it won’t really benefit members of your team. With a lack of encouragement, your team members will feel unappreciated, feel uncertain about whether you think that they are doing well and, ultimately, their commitment to you as leader may be weakened.
Do it wisely
Some people are “over the top encouragers” and say wonderful things about everything. Too much encouragement will diminish its effect.
Do it with examples
When we encourage others, it is important to include real life examples of what they are doing well. Some team members who may have issues with self-esteem may not absorb your encouragements unless there is some substance to them and they can see how they really are doing well.
Do it with spoken and written words
There is a lot of power in a hand-written note, expressing thanks and appreciation. There is no value in just thinking about encouraging others. Unless thoughts change into words, they remain silent in your mind.
Do it to your leaders
Sometimes people are reluctant to encourage the leaders above them in the organisation. They don’t want to be perceived as “crawlers” ( an Aussie expression from the 1970’s), grovelling up to their boss for special favours. How sad that many leaders miss out on being encouraged because of attitudes like this. Just do it! They will appreciate it. They need it.
If you are an encourager then;
.. your team will feel appreciated.
.. you will feel good for the positive effect of your words.
.. the world will be a better place.
Who can you encourage today?
” I can live two months on a good compliment” Mark Twain
Sometimes, delegating doesn’t work out. For a variety of reasons, the person who has been asked to do the task has continuously not produced the desired results. Although this can be frustrating, and you may feel like dealing with it as in the picture above, there are some better ways of taking the role back off the person so that it can be given to someone else.
Some comments on taking back the delegated task
Explain why you are making this decision.
Seek to point them to new roles.
Be prepared for some emotions.
Follow up on how they are going.
Some tips on re-delegating
Think about whether you need to learn more about delegating. What factors led to you making this appointment which has not worked out? Were you in a hurry and feeling pressured to appoint someone? Did you make sure that the person being asked had the skills and experience to fulfill what was being asked of them? Did you check out their background adequately?
Take time to think through the specific attributes and experience that you are looking for in the new person.
Don’t speak badly about the previous person who had the role, but let the new person know about some of the problems that have developed.
Commit yourself to working closely with them to see a positive outcome.
How are you going in the role of asking the right people to do the right roles? How could you develop a greater ability to do this?
Sometimes leaders feel that they have delegated some work or responsibility only to find that it hasn’t been done properly. It could be that the person has dropped the ball or it could also be that they didn’t understand exactly what they were supposed to be doing and how. Delegation is effective when the person doing the delegating and the person being asked are both clear about what the job involves. Before you ask someone to take on a role or job think through exactly what you are asking and how you will explain it clearly.
Explain it clearly to the person that you are asking
Check to see that they have understood what you are asking them to do
Communicate the goals
Make sure they understand the importance of the role
Let them know that you will be checking in from time to time
Communicate how much they can do this in their own way and how much needs to be done a certain way
Ask them about what assistance they will need to do this job
Do your team members understand exactly what you are expecting them to do?
“the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”George Bernard Shaw