UnCommon Leadership – Encouragement Fuels Performance

June 29, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Last year I went out for a walk/run and realized that a local Marathon/Half Marathon was under way literally a stone’s throw from our condo. As soon as I started, I found myself going the opposite direction of the runners in the race, but on the exact same route. I then had flashbacks of the only marathon that I’ve done – the Disney Marathon in 2001. I ran that marathon with an injury. It was, and still is, an accomplishment that allows me to realize the ability of the human body and mind to push beyond what we believe are normal human limitations.

Right after the flashbacks of the 2001 Disney marathon, I began clapping and cheering on the runners as they passed me. Watching their reactions was priceless! Some ignored the cheerleading, but most responded with thumbs up, big smiles and even big thanks. You could watch their physiology change as well. Chests went higher, strides got longer (especially in those that I complimented their “gait” and running style!) and heads went up. The reason I did this was because I remembered what it was like to have crowd support when I ran the Disney Marathon. You run through all of the parks and the crowd support is unbelievable. It’s very hard to explain how important that support is to a marathoner. I’ve talked to many who agree it can be a key factor in enduring the process and completing the marathon.

What are the lessons for us as UnCommon Leaders?

Encouragement to your team can take on many forms, but I believe it is essential for every human being to be appreciated and encouraged. Yes, some of us don’t need as much as others, but all of us need some (The Birkman Method assessment tells our company and our clients how much!).

If you understand the human brain, you know that there is a basic need for safety and security. As a leader, if you can provide a safe environment for your team, they will turn off that part of the brain that keeps a lookout for danger and move into a more productive and creative mode.

There are times when some of your team should hear the “cold, hard truth” of their performance. We need to be told when we’re not performing up to the standards that have been set. But, is this your main method for motivation and leadership? If it is, then realize what brain science and the study of neuro-leadership has learned: The research says we need at least a three-to-one ratio of “positivity” to “negativity” to thrive and perform at a high level.

Encouragement certainly falls into the category of positivity!

Who needs your encouragement today?

Onward & Upward!


Ed Chaffin, ACC, Senior Consultant, brings over 30 years of experience in start-up companies, executive leadership, and sales leadership to The Human Capital Group Inc. http://www.humancapitalgroupinc.com. Ed’s passion is helping others invest in themselves, their teams, and their organizations. The creator of the UnCommon Leadership® brand, Ed Chaffin writes and speaks to groups around the country on the topic of leadership. Ed believes that everyone can become an UnCommon Leader and make a difference by helping to change the world one person at a time! Sign up for our newsletter or contact us at http://www.humancapitalgroupinc.com/contact-our-team.html today!

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