Do you see yourself as an encourager? If I was to ask your team members if they think you are an encourager, what would they say? To me, an encourager is someone who gives encouragement on a regular basis to those around them and tries to have a positive, rather than critical, outlook of others.
While some find it natural and easy to encourage others, many of us need to work at it. To be an encourager it is important to see the benefits of encouragement and then make it a regular and natural part of the way we interact with others.
Regular encouragement benefits:
those who we encourage
We all know that children thrive on encouragement and affirmation, but sometimes we forget that the adults we work with are just “grown up” children who need encouragement just as much. Sadly, in many organisations, team members and leaders are encouragement deprived. It seems that no one notices or remarks on their good work nor takes the time to bolster their self-confidence. When people are encouragement deprived they often become discouraged and disengaged from their work.
Just a few words can really lift the mood of people who are being encouraged and strengthen their perceptions of self-efficacy. We should never underestimate the power of encouragement.
Various research projects have demonstrated the powerful effect of having a team culture of encouragement. It helps empower team members, build a greater sense of team cohesion and helps team members to relax and not feel like they are walking on ice. A healthy positive tone in the group helps the team to be more effective and attracts new members.
Although we shouldn’t encourage others just to feel good, the truth is that it does feel good to build people up rather than tear them down. When we encourage others we sense that we have made a positive impact in their lives and helped them to grow.
In this series of leadership and life we will look at various aspects related to encouraging others and I hope that it will help us all to grow in the art of encouraging.
What overall impact do your feel you have on others?
- make them feel better about themselves
- make them feel worse about themselves
- no real impact
What impact would you like to have on others?
Who can you encourage in the next hour, day or week?
“I can live for two months on a compliment”