When a leader fails to give positive affirmation to his followers then he or she underrates the damage that is already being done to the organization! For most people, it is easy to quickly fix blame when something goes wrong than it is to give credits when something is done properly or even beyond expectations.
You cannot afford to always look at what is going wrong while you close your eyes towards what is going on well. When you do this, you will end up with bitter people who do not feel appreciated in any way and that does not help your leadership process. When you need people to trust you cannot go to the same people that you have not been giving affirmation. The truth is that you will even find it difficult to relate with them and when that happens you will begin to build a communication gap that might take years to bridge!
If you have already created a communication gap or you just notice it is so difficult for you to relate with the people that are following you, then you need to review several things including the kinds of affirmation that you give to them! People want to be motivated and when there is no motivation there is no way they will be effective with their jobs. It will not really matter where the motivation is coming from in some cases but it must come. It can be an internal motivation and it can be an external motivation but there’s something unique about giving affirmation.
When you give positive affirmation to your followers, it will first of all start as an external motivation that is good enough for immediate consumption. In some cases when you are not there, the people who got the positive affirmation will remember the things that you said and it just can encourage them to be more proactive on them jobs! At this level you will realize that the positive affirmation you gave has been internalized and it is now being replayed to the followers who got it. It has moved from being external affirmation to being internal affirmation.
Never forget that one of the responsibilities of a leader is to motivate the followers to perform their duties. People may know what to do but will never do them when they do not get any encouragement. You can make it a culture within your system that everyone must encourage every other person working next to them or at least close to them. One of the things you will get from this is that there will be some positive energy in the system and it will not absolutely depend on your presence! You will no longer have to be there for the system to run effectively with some positive energy. You have introduced it as a culture and you will also benefit from it.
The primary lesson you have to learn here is that you must be able to pass some energy to your followers by just encouraging them. Give them positive affirmations without having to deceive them or trying to make them look bigger than they really are!
© Fola Daniel Adelesi
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