Strategic Sense made a commitment this year to highlight some of the remarkable authors, leadership professionals and business people we have had the great fortune of meeting and working with over the last 3 years. On Wednesdays, you will see guest-posts from some of these folks. All are leaders in their field and will have solutions to some of our biggest workplace issues. As with Marlene Chism‘s post last week that encouraged us to Stop Complaining today’s post helps us remember to Encourage…
Today’s Guest Post is by Kevin Eikenberry, from The Eikenberry Group. His blog Leadership and Learning has been a mainstay in our weekly reading and he has worked for years with organizations and individuals in helping them improve their leadership. You can get a copy of his latest book here From Bud to Boss and follow up on the review we gave on this blog last week.
And now, here’s Kevin:
In certain situations we all understand and value the importance of encouragement.
Take, with kids for example. When they are learning to walk and talk, there is tons of encouragement from every adult around. We know that if they keep at it they will succeed.
Take, our friends as a second example. When our closest friends are down or in pain, we all have provided encouragement and support, knowing that our encouragement would help them through a difficult time.
In both of these situations we realize the other person needs greater courage – either to take another try at a step, or to move past the pain or disappointment they might be feeling. To encourage literally means “to cause or create courage”.
Isn’t courage sometimes lacking at work too?
People lack the courage to try something new.
People lack the courage to do the right thing for the Customer.
People lack the courage to change the work process.
People lack the courage to share a new idea.
(need I go on?)
I talk with leaders all the time that want their team members to “be proactive” and “keep growing”. All too often the biggest barrier in people’s way is fear (of failure, of chastisement, of political suicide, or ridicule, to name a few).
And as we intuitively know, one of the best antidotes for fear is the strong, vibrant, continual and authentic encouragement of others.
If you want people to do more, take on more, and grow; encourage them.
If you want people to try new things, encourage them.
Amongst all of your coaching competencies and fancy coaching models, remember one of the most powerful tools you have.
Ask yourself, who can I encourage today?
Kevin Eikenberry is a two-time bestselling author, speaker, consultant, trainer, coach, leader, learner, husband, and father (not necessarily in that order).