The ability to encourage others is an essential skill for any leader.
The desire to encourage others is an essential disposition of the heart for any leader.
In fact, if encouragement is not a natural part of your leadership, you may unintentionally push people away from you rather than draw them to you.
I wrote a post that gives an overview of the significance of encouragement, raises the bar of what encouragement means, and describes the traits of a leader who is an encourager. I recommend you read it and it’s available to you here.
Here’s a brief excerpt from that post:
“Encouragement is not a soft expression from a weak leader. Good leaders, who are strong leaders, understand that encouragement is a core element to sustained influence. Essentially, sincere encouragement comes from a deep love for and belief in people, and a desire to see them experience life in a more fulfilling way.”
In this post, I want to answer a question that comes up frequently which is,
“What are the practical everyday ways that a leader encourages people?”
First, I want to make sure you can offer authentic encouragement that will find its way into people’s hearts.
There are two skills you must learn to genuinely encourage others.
1) The ability to connect at a heart level.
When you choose authenticity over self-protection, you open the doors to genuine connection.
Good leaders take responsibility to make that personal connection with each person they meet.
2) The ability to appreciate people the way they are.
Accepting and appreciating people the way they are can feel like tension for leaders because we want to help them grow, improve, and realize their potential.
So we challenge them because we care. But we must be careful not to push so much that our intentions are misunderstood. We must love, accept, and appreciate people the way they are to help them grow into the person they can become.