Leading with Energy & Encouragement


Everyone is capable of leadership! You, me, our managers, supervisors… all of us. Where there are leaders, there are followers, and with that comes responsibility. You don’t have to be a supervisor to be considered a leader of your skillset in your work area.

Effective leaders encourage their teams using energy and enthusiasm. Good leaders know what motivates and encourages their people, and they know that not everyone is rewarded by the same things. Effective leaders genuinely care about their staff as individuals and want to see them succeed. Effective leaders are enterprising as they find specialized and unique ways to build rapport with their teams.  By having their staff’s best interests at heart, they encourage their authentic followership.

Encouragement is very important to employees. The ones doing the jobs know how to best do those jobs. They may or may not do the job in the same way their supervisor would today, or did in the past, as time has changed many circumstances. Individual creativity allows people to problem solve and think creatively outside the box to work in their best ways.

Encouragement filters throughout the organization.  It’s contagious.  Encouragement from leadership conveys that ideas will be heard. Creative people are not always the ones who have the solutions that will be used. They do offer a spirit of brainstorming that creates an idea bank from which their teammates and the decision makers can draw.

Modeling encouragement to others keeps the ideas flowing. It might help someone be brave enough to ask the hard questions, so they can work toward finding solutions and providing better service. Encouragement from leadership sets a baseline of behaviors for management to follow.  Managers are like the conduit of the organization, feeding information to and from all directions. Feeling encouraged fuels, supports and inspires everyone to keep moving ahead.

Leaders can encourage the company’s managers to do their best and accept, or forget the rest. Nothing kills creativity like giving a project everything only to find out it was for nothing.  It creates paralysis by analysis. Encouragement keeps the ball rolling for those who might feel stuck behind barriers.

When managers accept leadership’s encouragement, it can be motivating to receive intelligently-offered suggestions. Managers who choose to pay encouragement forward receive the gifts of positivity, as well as strengthened work that combined the thoughts and ideas of the team.  Encouragement doesn’t cost a thing and can increase productivity thousand-fold.

Without encouragement, managers feel “nothing will ever change” and become defensive, instead of offensive, such as moving forward toward positive growth and change. If leaders don’t encourage their managers to make the hard decisions, and support them when they do, the managers may stagnate, which can be dangerous to an organization that needs to stay current with technology and advancing changes.

Encouragement is the fuel for resiliency. When walls are replaced with fluidity, mistakes and hurdles are easier to bounce over.  Encouraging leaders to grow can be done by supporting creative problem solving, which models positive decision making to create successor opportunities. An organization can start out like a bonfire with all the energy imaginable in the beginning. Without encouragement to keep up that momentum, it will fizzle out like a campfire that no one continued to fuel nor stoke.

Tary Paris is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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