As your business comes together again, encouragement will be one of the most important tools that you must bring to bear on every individual with and within it. It is a strength that must wash through your entire business from the very top to the furthest reaches. Encouragement sounds soft and comforting, and it is, but also it brings with it an immense renewal and revitalisation that every business will need as we exit this economic-pause.
Active Knowledge Question:
How do you view the act and practice of encouragement in your business?
Reforming and Reshaping
Over the next few weeks and months, businesses around the world will begin to reform and reshape their businesses for the markets they find themselves in and in rebuilding better businesses.
Many will have taken the opportunity the economic-pause provided to bring about changes that otherwise would have been slow and resisted both internally and externally. In addition, there will be new opportunities and markets that have emerged, which will now become part of their businesses.
The space where you do not want to be is reverting to ‘business as usual’. If nothing has changed in your business over the past few months with the economic-pause and social distancing culture, then you need to pause and reassess. Because you can be pretty sure that many things around you have changed.
One of the challenges that every business will encounter is people, their people and people who work with their business. Attitudes and work practices will have changed, and you can be pretty sure that what was acceptable and expected in 2019 and prior, will no longer work post-2020.
We must never forget that the core competitive strength of any business lies in the combined talent and effort of everyone who works within and with the business. The question will be, ‘what will have changed that will impact the approach to optimising that strength’?
Fear and Doubt
There will be many people who return to work with an underlying nervousness; a fear and doubt about a whole range of issues from personal health to job security to acceptable social practices. Being hesitant and unsure may be a good way to express the palpable environment that may exist.
Of course, there are still those business leaders who believe fear is a great way to motivate people. And simply the fact that people fear losing their jobs can be used as a tool to make people work harder. But harder work is not better work, and harder work will not make a business more competitive. In fact, if fear and doubt are the tools of choice amongst your leadership, then you can be assured that those leaders are not optimising the potential performance of their teams.
So as your business reforms and reshapes, one of your priorities must be to reduce, and eliminate if possible, fear and doubt and replace them will certainty and confidence.
This is a challenge that should not be underestimated nor taken for granted. Leadership needs to step forward to reaffirm, reassure and encourage. Why? Because it is only from this foundation that the competitive engine within your business will be enlivened and fired up to restore the competitive strength of your business.
Only the audacious are going to make the most of the opportunities that the market will present as we head towards the end of 2020 and into 2021 and beyond. ‘Business as usual’ will not make it. You need everyone who works within and with your business, energised to reform, reshape and rebuild your business.
Fear and doubt will not provide the right platform nor energy to enable that to happen. You need to rebuild the mental toughness that competitive success requires.
The Power of Encouragement
The word ‘encouragement’ has never really carried a great sense of power for me. Its sort of a nice word, which means to reassure, help, cheer, praise, backup, reinforce, boost, support and lift.
I believe you should always encourage others and I’ve recognised the importance of encouragement but it’s not a word I would choose to use. But let’s not allow how we view the word to hold us back from recognising its power.
How you speak to others is a choice. And you must choose your words carefully and develop a vocabulary of words that will encourage and enliven, and not discourage or chastise others. This will be a challenge for some leaders who are so entrenched in a negative language as a means of achieving results. Note, encouragement can never be expressed through silence.
A language of encouragement should and will:
- Strengthen others through your words.
- Uplift potential.
- Create a ‘can do’ attitude.
- Point towards the future.
- Charges the atmosphere in which people work.
- Change the narrative of a person’s life.
Throughout your business, you want to seed and identify champions who will understand and practice the power of encouragement and will draw the forefront the real potential that exists within and with everyone who works with your business.
As your business comes back together again, you must eliminate any traces of self-interest, and flood the business with encouragement to build a competitive strength that will outpace and endure everyone else in your chosen marketplace.
An entirely new level of performance.
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All the best in the success of your business,