Thanksgiving – a time to encourage the heart

The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time to look back and think about our interactions with colleagues, family and friends. Not many of us count the times we say thank you, but this may be the day to do just that.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet Barry Posner, the co-author of Encouraging the Heart. I watched him work a room. He asked everyone individually to write two memories of a time they felt they had delivered great leadership. Next, he asked each table of participants to share their stories and develop a list of five actions they took in great leadership moments.

After the lists were finished, Barry debriefed the activity with the room and helped everyone see the similarities in everyone’s lists. The lesson: great leaders do many of the same things and act in similar ways. One of those traits; great leaders encourage the heart.

Barry and his team have done exhaustive work on this topic. Years of research prove what has been said for years: employees don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad bosses.

Today is a day I want to ensure plan to not even have a single bad boss moment. I want to continuously encourage the heart of those around me. Here is the list from Barry’s book giving specific examples:

  • Essential #1 – Set Clear Standards: I make certain we set a standard that motivates us to do better in the future than we are doing now.
  • Essential #2 – Expect the Best: I express high expectations about what people are capable of accomplishing.
  • Essential #3 – Pay Attention: I get to know the people with whom I work at a personal level.
  • Essential #4 – Personalize Recognition: I find creative opportunities to recognize others in unique and special ways.
  • Essential #5 – Tell the Story: I tell stories about team members’ special achievements.
  • Essential #6 – Celebrate Together: I make sure our group celebrates accomplishments together.

When you have time, order up the movie Remember the Titans on Netflix. You will find each these six essentials in the movie. I have watched this movie with teams many times, and each time I find another example of Barry’s six essentials.

In closing, I want to thank each of you for supporting this blog and I encourage you to follow Barry’s advice this holiday.

Photo by Katrina Snaps

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