Encouragement means to speak courage into someone. My pastor said this at church a few weeks ago, and it made me think about my job as a leader. We can all encourage others whether we’re leaders or not. I consider leadership to be more of an art than science; leaders must understand the temperature of their team. There are times when you should challenge them, push them or hold them accountable. Other times you don’t need any of that. Instead, they may need encouragement to know that you believe in them or that you have their back. Doing so can be powerful, which is why it’s important to know your team and understand when to do these things.
Former New York Yankees manager, Joe Torre, practiced this idea. He’d push and challenge his team when things were going well because he didn’t want their success to make them complacent. On the other hand, when they were on a losing streak or someone was going through a slump, that’s when he’d encourage them. He recognized the times when his players needed a boost, and that’s when he’d show them that he believes in them and has their back.
Also, what I’ve found over the years is that when I have the right team around me, I don’t need to challenge them as much. They’re harder on themselves than I could ever be on them. When you surround yourself with the right people, that’s when it works best for you to encourage them. If you feel like you need to push your team constantly, you should look at who you have on that team. Are they the right person? Are they in the right position? You may have the right person for the company but have them in the wrong spot where they’re not performing at their best.
Speak courage into others. It’s not just for leaders and teams, but everybody. We could all use a little bit of encouragement, especially after the last 18 months. We need the courage to deal with all that we’re going through. Go out and encourage others more than you ever have and see what happens!