Encouragement Key to Effective Leadership

Yesterday we discussed what two researchers, Joseph Folkman and Jack Zenger, found that helped weak leaders become stronger.

In addition to communicating more and sharing more knowledge and information, people deemed to become more effective leaders over time did so by encouraging others.

A good way to think about encouragement is to stop now, rewind your day and see who you encouraged and how often you did so. Did you send any encouraging emails or texts? Did you say encouraging words? Did you find yourself looking for ways to encourage?

Ken Blanchard, an elite leadership consultant, wrote a classic leadership book called The One Minute Manager. In the book, he coached leaders to focus on looking for colleagues’ successes. He called it “catching them doing something right.”

Blanchard encouraged leaders to take that a step farther by giving a “one minute praising.” You can say a lot in one minute. Not only can you say “good job,” you can also note how the good job matters, admire the skill with which the task was accomplished, express appreciation for the contribution.

A “one minute praising” done well can fill the emotional tank of a teammate for a long time. Leaders find a way to inspire their teammates. Giving regular, authentic encouragement goes a long way.