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How to enjoy helping others excel

Everybody needs encouragement. None of us achieves anything without help. The great achievers and leaders in history became all that they were because of the people in their lives. Everyone … young and old, successful and less-than-successful, famous and unknown who receives encouragement is changed by it. In my case, one compliment can keep me energized for a long time. On the other hand, I have heard of cases where a word of encouragement changed a child’s life … strengthened and saved marriages … even inspired people to greatness. The truth is, you never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an incredible impact on a life.

Similarly, wise leaders are those who mine potential talent … they see what is good in others and know how to bring that potential to the surface … they are always more concerned with what someone will be rather than with what he or she currently is.

Do you see the unmined skills and talents of others? Can you see your colleagues’, team members’ or staff’s current weaknesses as future strengths? How about responding to their questions as future wisdom?

Your colleagues, team members, or staff may be rough around the edges, and their luster may need a little polishing from a skilled leader such as yourself. Your task is to bring out that polishing and in the process of acknowledging and grooming the potential of others, you are adding a cup of encouragement that is likely to reap gallons of achievement. Not a bad rate of return … really!

The psychology behind action is that people spend the greatest time doing what they believe will benefit them the most. When you reward people for the right behavior you will get the right results … fail to reward the right behavior and you are likely to get the wrong results. It has been proven time and time again … people withhold their best efforts when they see little or no relationship between what they do and how they are rewarded, complimented or acknowledged.

The key to encouragement is in knowing what gives people courage and what spurs them on to action. Too many leaders take pleasure in discouraging people by continually pointing out their mistakes and failures rather than focusing on their strengths and getting excited about their possibilities.

If you are not an encourager by nature, here are a few keys to get you started.

12 Rules for Bringing Out the Best in People

  1. Expect the best from people that you lead
  2. Make a thorough study of the other person’s needs
  3. Establish high standards for excellence
  4. Create an environment where failure is not fatal
  5. If people are going anywhere near where you want to go, climb on the bandwagon … all the original ideas don’t need to start with you
  6. Associate with role models to encourage success
  7. Recognize and celebrate achievement
  8. Include positive reinforcement in your feedback messages don’t just focus on the negative
  9. Invite sparingly … the competitive urge
  10. Place a premium on collaboration and teamwork
  11. Build into team interactions skillsets on how to “agree to disagree respectfully”
  12. Don’t forget to take steps to keep your own motivation high

Encouragement is your key to helping other people succeed … Use your skills to inspire others to excellence.

So … how many people did you encourage today? Start today to make encouraging others your daily mission!

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