What do you do when encouragement doesn’t work?

You have an employee who’s struggling.

You’re frustrated. You’ve tried all the usual methods to engage them, including encouragement.

And your encouragement doesn’t work.

What do you do?

There is a secret formula to making encouragement work.

Here it is….

It must be absolutely, positively, genuine.

It must come from a motivation of love and care for the individual.

If it’s not genuine people can smell it from miles away.

It must be completely genuine, not partially genuine.

How do you know if it’s genuine and how do they detect if it’s not genuine?

If it comes from a place of anger, it’s not genuine.

If you yell at them one minute and try to encouragement them the next, it’s not genuine.

I know a leader who is just like this. He gets frustrated, things don’t move fast enough for him, he doesn’t get the results he’s looking for when he wants them, and so he lashes out and yells. He yells in person, and he yells in emails. On a different day, he smiles at you and tells you how wonderful you are! Really?!

So, what if you really don’t care for this person let alone love them?

That’s the first step, to admit your real attitude and feelings toward the person.

Next, see them with your heart. This simple phrase comes from a seminar on leadership I call the “S Factor.” It has changed lives and the way people lead. (I even have wrist bands and mugs with the saying on it.) When you see people with your heart you imagine all the stuff and things they might be going through in their life. Struggles, loss, family issues, and so on.

Third, imagine that they are a family member. How would you feel toward them? Notice I used the word feel. Because it’s all about how you feel toward someone. Feelings are the big revealer.

Finally, you need to work on you. Your feelings and your attitudes. When you feel warmly toward someone, encouragement works. When you truly care for them, encouragement works. When you treat them like family, encouragement works.

The work you need to do, in on you.


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