The fact is, we don’t do our best in isolation. We don’t get extraordinary things done by working alone with no support, encouragement, expressions of confidence, or help from others. –Kouzes & Posner
As Todd mentioned on Wednesday, reinforcing the new normal takes persistence and resiliency. We have to be able to get back up and keep moving forward when things inevitably take a wrong turn. And it works best when we don’t do it alone.
I recently reread Kouzes and Posner’s classic Encouraging the Heart. They described seven essentials for leaders who want to provide genuine encouragement.
- Set clear expectations
– Do your people know what the new normal is supposed to look like? Do they understand their roles and responsibilities?
– Does everyone in the organization share a common set of goals, values, and principles?
- Expect the best
– Do you genuinely believe that your people can achieve the new goals?
– How do you communicate that belief to them?
- Pay attention
– Do you observe what people are doing and understand the significance of their actions?
– When you see someone doing something great, what do you do about it?
- Personalize recognition
– How do you provide recognition that is personal and meaningful?
– How can you reinforce the message that individual efforts can make a difference?
- Tell the story
– How can you demonstrate the benefits of the new normal in ways that are meaningful and memorable?
- Celebrate together
– How can you create public events and ceremonies that will build trust and bring people together around the change?
- Set the example
– How can you demonstrate that you are personally committed to the change?
As leaders, we can easily get caught up in the new business processes and work activities generated by change. This book was a great reminder that our most critical role in leading change is to support and encourage our teams.
Dee Anne Bonebright