Stop Encouraging Discouraged Team Members
It’s easy to ignore motivated team members. They don’t need encouragement.
Eventually, everyone’s tank runs dry.
Discouragement is natural, normal, and inevitable. Why wait for it to happen?
Successful leaders fuel fires before they go out.
The path downward is unnoticed and slow. You turn around and a top contributor is discouraged. It didn’t happen overnight.
The universal law of the universe is you can’t take out more than you put in, for very long. Successful leaders constantly pour into others.
Results go down when discouragement goes up.
We had scheduling issues so I didn’t meet with my leadership team this week.
Here’s the agenda:
- Discussion: How much responsibility should we take for the encouragement of the team?
- How can we monitor emotional states?
- Which of us is best at sensing how people feel? How can we leverage their strength?
- What can we do when someone seems discouraged? (specifically)
- Why do we wait until someone is discouraged before we encourage them? (specifically)
- How can we encourage before discouragement happens?
- Which team members are making significant contributions right now?
- How can we encourage top contributors, whether they need it or not?
It doesn’t take much to keep good people at the top of their game. But, it takes a heck of a lot to re-energize a de-energized person. What are you waiting for? You know the dip’s coming.
Stop encouraging discouraged team members. Catch them before they fall.
Encourage people before they need encouragement.
Every organization has some dark-cloud people in it. Are you pouring too much energy into them while neglecting top contributors?
How many things have to happen to
you before something occurs to you?
Suggests on Facebook: “Best ways to encourage the discouraged include ________.”
Do you have any input on the questions I planned to ask my team?
Well don’t jump into the mudpit with the pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it!!
That is a simple way to understand it.
The consciousness way to understand it is do not add energy to bs!!!
The better option is get cool stuff flowing through my brain and bloodstream!!
To do that two things are essential, hey Samantha you know this right??
1 be happy now
2 clear vision of a compelling future
Yep that about sums it up!!!
Mind Valley is the COOLEST!!!!
Google The Theory of Awesomeness and see how companies will look when the old lame stuff is dumped and the cool new stuff added!!
Thanks Scott. I appreciate you leaving your comment.
YW Dan, another way of looking at it is if one is LEADING, their focus is moving forward, not on who needs an attaboy!
Be plenty of that when victory is accomplished and a big party is thrown!!
If they hired the right people no babysitting needed.
Mature adults ask for help when they need it.
Just my opinion no need for babysitters to feel I stepped on their toes. It really is cool, some people really need looking after, they need folks who see things that way.
I am just not one of those folks is all.
The trick is for folks to see those differences exist and hire or if you are the one hired, work for folks who believe what you believe.
Nothing but problems if this us not done, ie 80% employee dissatisfaction rate!!
Most people like to be listened to. It shows you are valuable and is motivating, whatever your level of performance. Even ten minutes of someone’s interest and undivided attention can be life enhancing.
Most people like to be appreciated, whether they are top performers or not. Most people like to be asked for their ideas and for those ideas to be acknowledged, even if they can’t be used immediately.
None of these things are intrinsically difficult. We tend not to do them enough because we haven’t had enough of them ourselves. Anyone can break this circle. It does not have to be the boss. These are basic human needs.
Thanks Nick. When was the last time someone listened to you when they didn’t have to? When was the last time someone expressed genuine interest in you?
Better yet, when was the last time we went to someone else – who was doing just fine – and said, “Tell me what’s going on.”
Simple, easy, and effective.
Is it possible you’ve underestimated the emotional impact you have on your team (positive or negative)? Have you asked this frank question of your team?
Thanks James. Great question. The implied answer is we do underestimate the emotional impact we have. What an interesting discussion…..
Dan, good points, You used the word specifically twice. Knowing why and what we are doing is more important than developing tools for encouragement. I can say that I am committed to team members and yet struggle to pour into others effectively.
Researchers of marriage once broke this word commitment into two areas – #1 dedication (implies an internal state of devotion to people or to a project. Conveys a sense of a forward moving force). #2 Constraint (refers to the factors that would be the costs if the present course is abandoned).
If dedication is a force drawing you forward, constraint is a force pushing you from behind.
When I approach encouragement with the dedication portion of commitment, people around me see, feel, and know the difference. Encouragement becomes real, effective, and regenerating.
I love that quote
Dan, love the concept in the quote there. It’s something I always tried to do with my team members, but it was pretty clear when I wasn’t doing it enough.
The easiest way I know to encourage people is to smile at them. Sounds cliche, I know, but especially on a team in a stressful environment–I remember sometimes all I needed was to know that the people I answered to were happy with me.
A little deeper, I made it my priority above everything else to regularly sit down one-on-one with each team member and connect on a personal level–and like you said, NOT just once they were already discouraged. There’s only so much you can ask and say in a professional relationship, but I’d do my best to make them feel free to share with me WHY they were a part of the team and WHAT was really driving them personally.
It can help team members to know that their leader gets them, gets why they’re there, gets what they’re working towards. It helps establish trust and motivation in both directions. Just generally makes them feel cared for.
Thanks for the post! I’ve loved getting your stuff on my feed lately!
Good points Dan. I appreciate the suggestion to identify who on your team is really good at spotting the team members that are becoming discouraged. Caring for people, listening, expressing appreciation, being specific with praise, coaching through challenges is a responsibility we all have to others on our team. Having those who read emotions, notice body language, hear the chatter around the office and tell the rest on the team that a person a tream member is struggling is a real gift.
You also say that often it only takes a little time of focused listening–as little as 10 minutes. I affirm that as well. Be there, Pay 100% attention. Listen empathically, Care about more than just work. It all matters.
And encourage those that are fully engaged as much or more than those who tend to live their lives under dark clouds that do not easily part.
What do you do when it’s your manager who is disengaged,and disinterested for many legitimate reasons – overwork, too many demands and personal factors.
This person seems to be more comfortable in a technical rather than people engagement role.
It can be really disheartening.
In my work world, we advertise for educators and human beings show up:) Building relationships with people is so important to the success of any organization. Encouraging the encouraged is a proactive measure that pays better dividends than being reactive.