#202 – How to Provide Encouragement

As we enter the end-of-the-year holiday season, it’s an apropos time to focus on the leader’s role in expressing appreciation. It’s one of the most important responsibilities of a leader. I use the word responsibility quite intentionally. This is not an optional item on the job description. Positive communication is an essential leadership skill. Over the next few weeks, I will address several different types of positive communication. We’ll start with encouragement.

Food for Thought ~

Encouragement involves being supportive, heartening someone with encouraging words. It is intended to give courage, hope or confidence to a person who may feel unsure or discouraged. It can be as simple as a quiet “I have confidence in you.” Or, it can be vociferous cheerleading for a rousing team effort. Encouragement may be one to one, or it may be addressed to a group or an entire organization going through a difficult time. Good leaders provide encouragement when it’s needed. An encouraging leader can make the difference in how an organization weathers difficult times and thrives during good times.

Question for the day ~

How are you at providing encouragement when and where it’s needed? How might you improve your skills?

A Footnote ~

It’s instructive to think of this from a personal perspective. Think of a time when you received some important encouragement and how much difference it made. Conversely, think of a time when you badly needed encouragement and how much difference it could have made. Use your insights from this simple exercise to make a resolution about providing encouragement to others.