Everyone needs someone to cheer them on. Everyone needs to know that other people are excited about their progress towards the finish line.
Think about a cross country meet or a basketball game. Do the players and runners feel encouraged when they hear the spectators yelling instructions for what to do next?
- “Watch out for the defence on the left.”
- “One foot in front of the other, keep those shoulders back.”
While instructions might be helpful in a moment, they don’t sustain the player for the long-term. What pays off far more is to hear someone shout encouragement about the ‘heart’ that you are putting into your game.
- “Good job. Keep up the good work.”
- “2.5 km done, you’re half-way there. Keep on going!”
Encouraging the heart gives people a lift that you can’t get in any other way. Encouragement and approval is a gift that people can’t give themselves. It has to come from outside.
As a leader make sure that you are giving this gift.
The concept of encouraging the heart comes from Posner and Kouzes work from The Leadership Challenge.