How to Be Encouraging

December 20, 2010

When you are interacting with your team members, you want to be encouraging to them. The difficulty, though, is often knowing how to be encouraging without seeming patronizing. When you are encouraging someone, let them know they are valuable as a part of the team. Even in something as simple as responding to an email or a phone call. Remember to always say thank you and to let them know you like their work. It is very easy to only say something to your team if a particular task is going badly, needs to be fixed, or some catastrophe arises. However, equally as important as communicating during a storm, is to communicate during the calm.

Now I’m not suggesting that you send everyone flowers. I really do mean just be conscious of your words. When a team member lets you know that a particular task has been completed, say “Thank you, this looks great”. Or “you did a great job. Thank you”. Just a simple word or phrase to communicate appreciation and support.

When things are going slowly, or the team hits a snag, be the person that is a cheerleader. Let the team know that this obstacle is just an obstacle and not a total disaster. Remind them that the team is very skilled in this area (maybe even pick a few examples) and let them know you as their leader are confident that the team can pull out of any slump.

If you really do hit a major disaster, then remind the team that the project can be re-routed, or that you know how to start over from a different angle.

Be positive, be realistic, but always be encouraging.



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