The Encourager

The Encourager is the leader who finds opportunities to encourage other people to do their best work.

My dad died on March 18, 2009. It was the day after St. Patrick’s Day. My dad was a great big Irishman and St. Patrick’s Day was his favorite day of the year so he hung in there for one more day. One of the things I loved the most about my dad was his encouragement.

Dad would watch another person in action. Then after the activity was over he would call the other person over to him, and he would say, “I just want you to know that I’m really, really proud of you for the way you handled that situation.” Then he would point out specific things that had happened so the other person knew he really was being sincere.

When you watch people in your organization at work and you see someone do something that really demonstrates an important behavior, go up to them and say, “I am really proud of you for the way you handled that difficult situation with a customer. (Or whatever it was.) I noticed how you calmly listened and then delivered real help to that person. Thank you very much.”

Two Questions for The Encourager Approach to Leadership

1. What is something positive that you noticed someone doing in the past week?

2. How can you encourage that person to let him or her know that you noticed the tremendous effort and are very appreciative of the action? (Will you make a phone call, send a text, have a face-to-face conversation, write an email, jot off a handwritten note, etc.?)

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