Don't Just Encourage Anybody

It is my privilege to be among many leaders on a continual basis.  (I love leaders!)  And, a good percentage of that time, I’m with lead leaders.  The common thread that I witness regularly is the need for genuine encouragement.  Someone said it best: “Encouragement is the fuel for tomorrow.”  Simply explained, to encourage someone is to put courage in that person to move forward.  When an organization is going through change of any kind, it’s critical to recognize that random offerings of encouragement will not do any good in the long run.  In other words, if key leadership is blurred by discouragement, the entire association will suffer.  But if those in top level supervision are made to feel hope for the coming days, all of those under them will be impacted by the positive results.  So, encouragement, in this regard, is meant to be strategic!

Here are some considerations when offering strategic encouragement:

  • Offer honest praise.  Make sure whatever is said in the form of encouragement is authentic and something that is truly recognizable.
  • Be specific with your encouragement.  Help them to see where they have been or are being successful.
  • Point to their potential.  Give them opportunity to see by your words where they are capable of succeeding further.
  • Reveal a realistic place to improve.  Narrow in on a doable area (maybe even steps) to make progress.
  • Resource with practical tools.  Offer some books, websites, connections, etc., that will actually help them take steps forward.

A strategic relationship with any leader is a gift that is meant to be guarded.  Whether you are a coach, consultant, pastor or outside leader, recognize the opportunity you have to give praise that could mean progress for an entire organization.  So, don’t just encourage anybody!


How can you make your encouragement more directed and detailed?