Of All the Complaints I’ve Heard about Bosses, I’ve Never Heard this One

Top Complaints about bosses:

  1. My boss takes credit for my work.
  2. My boss doesn’t trust me. She seems to assume that I’m going to fail.
  3. My boss doesn’t care that I’m overworked. I work late. He leaves on time.

Of all the complaints I’ve heard:

Of all the complaints I’ve heard about leaders, I’ve never heard anyone complain…

“I wish my boss would stop encouraging me. I get too much encouragement.”

It’s easy to miss the mark when you call people to face new challenges.

Good intentions backfire. Unexpected resistance knocks you for a loop. Perhaps you misread your team’s readiness to take on new challenges.

Encouragement – while facing challenges – never misses the mark.

“Only three in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that in the last seven days they have received recognition or praise for doing good work.” Gallup

On target:

Occasionally I send a short text or email to leaders I know. It might simply read, “I was just thinking of you. I know you’re facing big challenges. You matter.”

The reply often reads, “Thanks, I really needed that today.”

It’s always the right time to say a good word to someone who’s facing challenges.

Try saying:

  1. I notice you have been …
  2. When I think of you, I think about …
  3. When I see you at your best, I see you …
  4. I notice how comfortable you are when you …
  5. You’re so good at … (Name a result or skill.)
  6. I’m thankful for you.
  7. Thank you for rising to this challenge.


The context of encouragement is challenge. All encouragement and no challenge dilutes the value and power of a good word.

Big challenges multiply the value of small encouragements.

“The best managers reinforce how and why each person’s contribution is fundamental to the team’s success.” Gallup

What are some complaints you hear about bosses?

How might bosses encourage team members?