It’s Okay To Lead With Encouragment

An editor’s job is to edit your words. To make them better. To tell you when you’re lacking, when something doesn’t quite land right, and to tell you when you’ve done a good job.

When a piece goes live on Thought Catalog, each writer gets a notification. And sometimes, there’s a one-line comment from the editor that looked over the piece. Lately, I’ve been paying more attention to the words that the editors are bestowing upon me because they are unbelievably kind. They are something of praise. They are an acknowledgment of how hard I am working — and it makes me want to work harder.

Leadership is multifaceted. It’s hard to be the boss, to be the leader, to be the person who calls the shots.

Oftentimes it involves making the tough decisions that others may shy away from. Oftentimes it involves saying the things that must be said, but things that people do not want to hear — for a leader must always be truthful.

Leadership and truth are strands of the same braid — you cannot have one without the other. But the other strand of that braid must be encouragement. Therein lies the trifecta.

There is a lie that we tell ourselves that in order to be a leader, one must leave out feeling, that they must steel themselves against emotion. That they must be “tough”. But what’s the point of that? What’s the outcome of that? How on earth does that make a productive workplace?

What would happen if instead, we changed our way of thinking? If perhaps we stopped believing the lie that we must be steel and stone cold, and instead see the humanity behind the human?

You can give corrections and critical feedback with compassion.

You can lead with encouragement, even if you want behaviors to change.

When we encourage those who work for us with simple words of appreciation and acknowledgment of a good job, people want to work harder. They feel seen. They feel heard. They feel valued. They want to keep the level of praise that they’re at — and even raise the bar on themselves, too. TC mark

About the author
I hate styling my hair. Follow Megan on Instagram or read more articles from Megan on Thought Catalog.

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