To Encourage or Not by Jim Johnson

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We’ve probably all had this kind of manager – the person everyone fears to annoy, anger, or simply encounter.  This manager’s words and actions are harsh, demening at times, and down right nasty. 

What kind of productivity does this sort of person get from his/her team?  Just enough.  Just enough performance from the team to avoid being yelled at, threatened, and targeted. 

A team that produces “just enough” will eventually produce less and less. Team members will come and go and the productivity, as well as the very life of the team, will dwindle.

There is a better way. 

In his book, “Life is a Series of Presenations”, Tony Jeary quotes University of Michigan psychology professor James V. McConnell who said, “People who smile tend to manage, teach and sell more effectively, and to raise happier children.  There’s far more information in a smile than in a frown. That’s why encouragement is a much more effective teaching device than punishment.”

Think of your team right now.  Who needs to take their performance to the next level?  Who has recently demonstrated a behavior that is hurting the team? Who seems to be in a slump?

How you interact with this team member will make all the difference in the world in turning the situation around. 

Smiling and being encouraging isn’t giving them a pass.  As a leader, you want to connect with your team member.  By being abrasive, you are putting up walls.  Communication and understanding is being impeded. 

A positive approach to leading people breaks down walls.  It brings life to your relationships.  Your team will be more open to your guidance and coaching.  Your team will become loyal.  Others will want to join your team. 

Remember this thought from Tony: “The substance of your communication is the response it generates.”

3 thoughts on “To Encourage or Not by Jim Johnson

  1. Good post – smiling does cure a lot of ills.
    One thing that has always bothered me is this
    ‘We’ve probably all had this kind of manager – the person everyone fears to annoy, anger, or simply encounter. This manager’s words and actions are harsh, demening at times, and down right nasty..
    Why hasn’t this mangers’ (described in this quote) manager dealt with this managers effect he/she has on the team??

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