Once I was asked a straightforward question that when all are paid to do their job, why we need encouragement or praise here? Why won’t people do what they are supposed to do?
As George Matthew Adams said, there are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else. I don’t care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause.
“Some people offer encouragement in a boisterous way. They dole out lavish and effusive praise, bear hugs, and hearty cheers or applause. Other encouragers turn to techniques that are quiet and subtle: a soft smile, a kind word, or a light touch on the hand. But regardless of the form that encouragement takes, it carries amazing potential—the potential to lift a person’s spirits while helping them to stay focused on their goals.” (Quoted Julie Exline – Psychology Today)
Encouragement does following 5 main things to people which has direct relation to success of the organization.
- fuels the passion to do better and exceed expectations
- sets expectations and helps people evaluate on their own merit
- strengthens the self-esteem
- reinforces positive work environment
- increases appetite for taking calculated risks by being creative and innovative
en·cour·age·ment – (noun) – something that makes someone more likely to do something
praise – (verb) – to express approval of (someone or something)
When it comes to encouragement, it’s either a thank you email or keep up the good work statement. So praising is good and we all like it, which happens after the action or any achievement. Praising serves as encouragement for next venture but it is only for people who have contributed towards that specific achievement. Its like
While encouragement is something done before and during any action taking place to rally our troops to the goal. Anyone can given encouragement.
When Encouraging Others, Keep In Mind:
- False praise discourages others. Praise only real and specific achievements, even if you have to identify individuals and their contributions.
- Encouragement can be a smile, a nod, a clap or a pat on the back but go beyond saying keep up the good job; if you want people to exceed your expectations.
- When encouraging be sincere and attentive, take time to recognize.
- Usually meetings end frantically because no time is left, as a leader ensure its your job to take a moment and say specific words of encouragement.
- Be consistent and ensure small snafus do not blow the sockets off
- Timely encouragement is important; a stitch on time saves nine.
- Observe for signs of discouragement – limited or no engagement / participation, don’t care attitude, body language, etc.
How to Encourage:
- Foster collaboration among teams & organizations
- Processes and disciplines are required to succeed, but they need to be refined with time and as technology changes. Be the champion of taking down the barriers in achieving efficiency & productivity.
- Trust your people and let them make decision.
- Delegate some of the work & meetings to your team and ask for information, this will help you grow them and identify star players.
- Stay engaged by recognizing people at the right time, giving clear directions and suggestions when required, asking for input and showing respect.
- People make mistakes, understand the effort and planning that went in, provide insight and help ensure it does not get repeated.
- When needed, take actions required to address the problem. Discipline of the organization must be maintained.
- Take the responsibility of your team. Understand where buck should stop.
Encouragement is a valuable gift that we can give without any expense and it rewards both giver and receiver. It builds relationships, drives positive growth, improves corporate bottom line while giving satisfaction to employees. Encouraging right people at right time in a right way does wonders.
More – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/light-and-shadow/201311/the-quiet-power-encouragement
One shoe size does not fit all. We need a carrot & stick approach to cover all kinds. My most favourite quote on motivation is by Al Capone: You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.