Are You A Cheerleader Or An Invalidator?

April 27, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Managers have many roles and responsibilities the least of which is to contribute to an employee’s self worth and not invalidate them. Know which is your tendency? Know the direct and indirect consequences of each?

A cheerleader – an uncritically enthusiastic supporter. To make others feel valued, worthwhile and encouraged.

To invalidate – to prove that something is wrong or make something worthless. To send a message to others that they are less important than you in some way.

Now that we have that out of the way let’s take a look at how people invalidate or encourage employees and their outcomes.

You invalidate employees when you;

-punish them for mistakes made without giving them the positive reinforcement helping them to learn in the process.

-Exclude them from meetings where their contribution would be beneficial.

-Show up late for meetings with them.

-Interrupt them when they offer ideas, solutions or creative approaches to issues.

-Fail to listen to their ideas.

-Give them inadequate feedback, appreciation or recognition.

There are hundreds of additional ways that management contributes to poor employee attitudes and performance as a result of their negative management style but in the end if you want motivated and productive employees this is a poor way to achieve it.

You encourage employees when you;

-Catch them doing things right and give them positive feedback, appreciation or recognition.

-Applaud their achievements or accomplishments in public.

-Give them the freedom to make decisions that are appropriate for their roles or responsibilities.

-Empower them to act on their own.

-Trust and respect them regardless of their talent, experience or other personal or career profile issues.

-Treat them fairly regardless of their personal situations

Again there are numerous other ways to send a clear message to employees that they are valued and appreciated but in the end if you want employees to consistently give you their best, this is the best approach and management philosophy.

The consequences of inadequate or no encouragement.

Everyone wants and needs to feel self-value and when they receive feedback or messages that reinforce these personal needs people will tend to give you their best, try harder, be more loyal and bring increased creativity and solutions to challenges, problems or issues that need these important mindsets. When you fail to recognize and show timely and appropriate encouragement and positive reinforcement you will tend to get the opposite of these outcomes.

Whether your organization is on a roll or facing challenging times you need motivated and creative employees to help you continue your success or to emerge from challenging times with success and sustainability.

The outcomes and results when you build employees up through encouragement.

I’ll make this easy – read the above two paragraphs again but with a more positive outlook or mindset.

I’ll leave you with two quick questions – which approach is your dominant management approach or philosophy and how is it working for you?

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 4000 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 70 books including; Soft Sell, That’s Life, SOLD, 81 Challenges Managers Face and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at, 704-895-1230 or visit his websites at

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