First a quote; ” The way to develop the best that is in a man (woman, child, employee, any person who is important to you) is by appreciation and encouragement.” – Charles W. Schwab
Sometime today, take a brief minute to reflect on the most important people in your life, both personal and professional. It is likely, even probable, that one or more of those people are discouraged by something going on in their life, right now, as you read this short commentary. Think about it, almost all of us know someone who is battling cancer, an addiction, job loss, a marriage/relationship crisis or supporting an aging parent with declining health. Feeling discouraged is a common life experience for most of us, at some level and on some occasions.
Think about it this way, each of us has an “emotional bank account”, and our account balance fluctuates as we go through our day, week or month. Sometimes, we run a surplus in that account. We’re excited, motivated and feel positive about what our jobs and life have to offer. On other days, our emotional bank account might run a little low, or even at a deficit and “in the red”. We feel discouraged, tired, sometimes defeated or at least challenged to “survive” the day or week ahead.
This is where your leadership skills and behavior come into play. First, having the “emotional intelligence” to be aware of what others might be feeling; the ability to “sense” how full, or empty, their emotional bank account might be. And second, to always make sure you make more “emotional deposits” than you do “withdrawals”.
We motivate people by doing our part to help them run a positive balance in their accounts. Just as your automobile needs to be refueled as you drive it, so too are the needs of the people we live with and/or lead. Their “emotional accounts” need to be “refueled” on a regular basis.
Now, reflecting on the important people in your life, or on your team, think about the last exchanges you had with each of those individuals. Did you make more “deposits” than you did “withdrawals”? When you finished your exchange with them, did they feel better about who they are; more optimistic, more hopeful and more excited about taking on the challenges they face? Or perhaps, could they have felt more discouraged, less confident, less hopeful and less motivated by your words and actions?
Just like your personal checking account must not be overdrawn without a penalty… the balances we run with people we lead and live with must also “run in the black”, at least most of the time. We must make more deposits than withdrawals on a regular basis or there will be a “relational penalty” assessed at some point in time. While all balances will fluctuate up and down as we face life’s challenges, running a continually negative balance with important people will eventually lead to foreclosure and closed accounts.
I’m willing to bet there is a strong relationship between your team’s motivation level and the “fullness” of their emotional bank accounts.
Set a goal for today and for the week… how many deposits can you make by Friday?
Be your best self this week!
Have a great week!!
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”