Whether you lead a huge organization or manage a small team, a large part of what you do revolves around building that dream team of super bright, highly successful people who have what it takes to put your team over the top. However, as the Chief Encouragement Officer, you often find yourself with an interesting dilemma: how do you instill in them the courage and motivation to realize their potential, without limiting their creativity, brilliance, and innovative nature?
This isn’t an easy task, nor is it a one size fits all formula for everyone on your team. Therefore, your only option is to tap into their genius, and the best way to encourage them to succeed is to stop doing the thinking for them.
As Chief Encouragement Officer, when we encourage others’ thought process, we tap into their creativity, help them make their own connections, improve the quality and clarity of their thinking, and create the passion and motivation to act.
Here are some ways that you can inspire and encourage those you lead to perform at the optimal level—who knows, maybe during the process you’ll even give yourself the encouragement you need to achieve what you desire.
Step Back In the Moment from Giving Answers
Stepping back in the moment takes great self-management as a leader. It means going against the urge for expediency and opting for the longer-term gains that come with encouraging those we lead to think for oneself. Stepping back in the moment allows you to become the catalyst for the other person to uncover what isn’t working. At its core, encouraging the person to think through the issue with you as a sounding board, resource, and interested party creates the safe space needed to move beyond what may be comfortable for them without fear of disappointing you.
Challenge Them to Make Specific Changes
Encouraging them to think independently of you is critical to their ability to change long-held patterns and behaviors that aren’t working. Independent thought and experimentation fosters and develops the individual’s ability to create the new map that will be their guide as they move forward. Pushing them to select goals that are challenging and specific helps them build the structure that supports the new behaviors as they emerge. Holding them accountable for their choices means praising what is working and encourages a quick transition from what isn’t working to addressing what can work.
Acknowledge and Encourage Forward Movement In the Moment
Helping people re-shape their self-perception means letting them know that you notice the changes when and where they happen. Don’t wait for the next official performance review or conversation to acknowledge their progress and encourage continued movement forward. When you notice the change, say something about it to the person in that moment. Impromptu acknowledgement encourages continued action and is a powerful motivator. Encouragement helps them push through when the process is scary and challenging.
Encouraging others to do the thinking for themselves delivers a huge dividend for all involved. Creativity abounds, and people learn to encourage and support each other instead of lamenting what isn’t working.
Are you ready to instill in those you lead the courage and motivation they need to excel?