SBM Articles


A Culture of Praise and Encouragement

by Jonathan Jones

One of the traits I have noticed about leaders in high-performing organizations is recognition of potential in their employees — seeing passion and potential that the employees don’t see in themselves. In a positive spirit, they use encouragement and coaching to help employees realize their potential.

How do they do it? First of all, they get to know their people/talent and understand what makes them tick. Effectiveness requires spending time observing, listening to and understanding people. Leaders seek to put employees in positions or give them opportunities where they are likely to succeed and grow. Every person and role is important, and taking the time to ensure a good fit should be paramount.

Without clarity, you cannot coach. Each employee should clearly understand their expectations in their role. Praise early and often, and directly connect that praise to their performance.

But overdoing praise without evenhanded coaching on areas for improvement can easily backfire. Openly and publicly praise individual and corporate achievements of overall goals. And when something goes wrong, it is time for private coaching.

As a successful culture leader, you have built a positive environment by showing your staff and peers that you care about them and corporate performance. Don’t criticize nonhabitual challenges publicly, but coach and reinforce performance expectations. Ask what solutions the employee in question may think of for improvement of performance. If you agree, empower them to make the necessary changes — and even to fail. If they have no idea for a solution, offer to coach or take the time to discuss the situation and consequences. Follow up and ensure that they are on track.

As a leader, train every manager to encourage and coach employees. A healthy culture will follow true and transparent leaders.

Jonathan Jones ( or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.

Submitted 314 days ago
Categories: categoryCulturecentric Leadership
Views: 876