Are you more apt to encourage or criticize?
This question applies to work for sure. The studies and science of teams say that those who encourage each other consistently perform better than those who lean toward criticism.
The trick is some of us are more inclined to criticize than others. So, those prone to criticism must face the challenge of putting it aside for the sake of choosing encouragement.
Some see choosing encouragement rather than criticism as soft. Maybe even dishonest. Why find ways to encourage when criticism is in order?
We teach the ratio of encouragement to criticism should be 6:1. If you choose to be alert to things to encourage and acknowledge them “out loud,” it paves the way for better communication when the need for criticism arises.
The opportunities for encouragement abound. New teammates need encouragement. Notice what they bring to the job. Help them when things seem awkward. Thank them for “roughing” it out in the early days.
As we get to know each other, we see more. We can express gratitude. We can help. We can pay attention to moods and offer uplifting words.
We can encourage each other through coaching and teaching. We can engage each other by embracing opportunities to hit ambitious targets.
So, how about it? How’s your team’s work environment? What’s the frequency of encouragement? How are you impacting it?
One more thing: if encouragement makes a difference at work, imagine the difference it makes among your family. Be an agent for encouragement there as well.