How to Be an Encourager in the Workplace
We’ve all been there – sharing a hope, dream, or plan with someone only for them to respond with skepticism, criticism, or doubt. We’ve also experienced responses of encouragement, uplifting advice, and optimism. These small moments we experience in life can have a really large impact on our trajectory.
Encouragement. It’s a simple word with a simple meaning that can drastically alter someone’s life. That small boost of support and glimpse of what is possible can single-handedly encourage someone enough to accomplish big things. In the workplace, we have an opportunity to offer that hope every single day. On teams filled with diverse mindsets, perspectives, and experiences, there are endless opportunities to offer support, solutions, and encouragement.
If you long to offer this extremely impactful hope to others, here are three characteristics you can show:
When we see others experience success, it’s natural to want to create success for ourselves. But it’s important to acknowledge that celebrating others is just as fun! Did someone on your team get a promotion or earn a designation? Did your leader land that big deal you helped her secure? Celebrate! While there is certainly merit in standing up for yourself, taking credit for a job well done, and accomplishing things on your own, I promise that being happy for the success of others will leave you fulfilled and improve your team dynamic.
We work with a number of agent entrepreneurs who are natural leaders. But while they might make it look easy, leadership takes intentionality! Looking for ways to encourage others is just as important as recognizing accomplishments when they present themselves. Many team members do not actively celebrate their successes because they feel it’s their job to perform at a certain level. Yet, successful leaders I know have habits like scheduled “circulate” time where they simply walk through the office and chat about people’s lives. These leaders may take notes when someone mentions something in a meeting that they’re particularly proud of; or better yet, they will write a note of thanks and acknowledgment to a team member. Being a leader involves taking the initiative to encourage others.
3. Active Listening
In society, we’ve been conditioned to hear but not listen. Active listening takes determination and concentration. Effective encouragers know how to listen. They dedicate their thoughts to understanding what the speaker is saying, they don’t worry about that upcoming appointment or whether they set their home alarm this morning. They are present and focused on the person they’re speaking to. If you struggle in this area, be encouraged at the fact that listening is a skill you can develop. You can start practicing by quieting your mind, tuning in to what they’re saying, and maintaining eye contact.
If you long to be an encourager, practicing these three behaviors can help you establish that aura of hope. It’s never too late to be THAT person – the one who brightens people’s day by simply walking in the room. At Future Legacy Partners, we share many assessments and tools to help leaders and teams build these skillsets and practices.
Wishing you success as you encourage others,