No encouragement is discouragement

Those who make a difference, encourage.

Encouragement infuses others with courage, hope, and confidence. Sounds like a good thing. So…

Who have you encouraged in the last day or week? You’ve been meaning to say the good word. You’ve intended to offer a listening ear. But you’re dealing with too many issues and solving so many problems that encouraging others slipped off the agenda.

I don’t think there’s middle ground. Either you encourage, or through neglect, you discourage.

Evaluate your encouragement.

Find out if you encourage by sending an email asking, “Have you ever felt encouraged by something I’ve said or done?” If they say yes, ask them to explain the behavior. “I want to improve my encouragement skills. What did I do or say that encouraged you?”

Create an encouragement calendar.

Write the names of people you plan to encourage on your calendar. One name a day is a good start. Friday is the receptionist’s day. Saturday is your daughter’s day. Monday it’s the colleague down the hall. Tuesday it’s the boss.

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What can leaders do to encourages others?