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?