by Beth Miller
Encouragement is not praise. Done well, encouragement can lead to success for an employee — at which time praise is appropriate. You see, encouragement is the act of providing positive feedback that focuses specifically on effort and/or improvement, rather than specific outcomes. Praise is given when success has been achieved.
The ability to successfully encourage others through periods of difficult times and lack of progress is both a science and an art. There are techniques that you can use that will provide encouragement but they are only helpful if you are using your emotional intelligence during the process. Emotional intelligence includes the ability to adeptly read and respond to the emotional needs of others. Keen observation of body language, choice of words and interaction with others will be helpful in this process.
Here are seven techniques I recommend managers use to help encourage their team members:
- Ask them what help they need.
- Coach them to discover choices.
- Recognize their small incremental wins.
- Thank them.
- Demonstrate your confidence in them.
- Put them on stretch assignments.
- Help them get recognized by others.