MODULE 7 ? ENCOURAGE THE HEART
PRACTICE SUMMARY ENCOURAGE THE HEART
Making extraordinary things happen in organizations is hard work. The climb to the summit is arduous and steep. Leaders encourage others to continue the quest. They expect the best of people and create self- fulfilling prophecies about how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results. By maintaining a positive outlook and providing motivating feedback, leaders stimulate, focus, and rekindle people?s energies and drive. These are all essentials to Encourage the Heart. Leaders have high expectations of both themselves and of their constituents. They provide others with clear direction, substantial encouragement, personal attention, and meaningful feedback. They make people feel like winners, and winners like to continue raising the stakes. Leaders give heart by visibly recognizing people?s contributions to the common vision. They express pride in the accomplishments of their groups. They make others feel like heroes by telling the rest of the organization about what these individuals and the group have accomplished. Celebrating group accomplishments adds fun to hard work and reinforces group spirit. Celebrations increase people?s network of connections and promote information sharing. Fostering high- quality interpersonal relationships enhances productivity along with both physical and psychological health. We highly recommend you read The Student Leadership Challenge book to deepen your understanding of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model by reading about students who demonstrate the leadership behaviors embedded in the model. We learn from stories, and the stories in the book are intended to both inspire and delight you.
UNDERSTAND AND PRACTICE THE LEADERSHIP BEHAVIORS OF ENCOURAGE THE HEART
The following activities will help you explore and deepen your understanding of the leadership behaviors that connect to Encourage the Heart. Focus on one behavior at a time, and identify opportunities to demonstrate that behavior more often.
- What are some of the ways you have encouraged others as they were doing something? What reactions did you get from them? Describe how that encouragement made a difference in the person, group, or outcome of the project? or all of these. Describe a time when you have, at that very moment, recognized someone for what he or she was doing right then and there. If so, what reaction did they have? What impact do you think this action would have on the group and the individual if you did it more often?
- What are some simple ways you can acknowledge someone while he or she is in the middle of a project or assignment? What would you need to be looking for in order to recognize someone, and then how would you use what you have learned? Are there some experiences that you can learn from where you might have missed opportunities to recognize others? List five simple, quick ways you could recognize someone for something he or she was doing in the group at that exact moment: 1. 2. Pg. 1223. 4. 5. Now that you have some ways in your mind to recognize someone as that person is working on something, what would you want to be looking for that you would feel is important to recognize? Can you list fifteen things? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Pg. 1237. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Pg. 124 Have you seen anyone do any of the things you just mentioned? If so, did you recognize them? How did you do that? If not, what can you learn from those experiences so that you don?t miss the opportunity again?
- How do you think group members could be even more committed to the group than they already are? What are some things that you think would help some in the group to be more committed but others not as much? If you were to regularly and sincerely recognize people in the group what overall outcome do you think that would have on the group as a whole? What are the: Benefits to the group for doing this? Liabilities to the group for doing this? Pg. 125 ?I express appreciation for the contributions people make.? (Student LPI Report: ?Expresses appreciation for people?s contributions.?)
- How can you show appreciation to your group for the various kinds of work that they do? Can you think of some of the more common ways to show appreciation to the group? Do you know specifically what expressing appreciation for their contributions means to those in the group? In other words, what expressions of appreciation do people in the group need that you can provide? If you were asked what kind of appreciation the group needs to succeed, how would you answer? How do you know what kind of appreciation the group would value (what the members need to be successful)? Explain: List five things you can do to show greater appreciation to the group as a whole: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Pg. 126If you showed appreciation for the group more often, how would individual members benefit? How would the group benefit?
- Share a few ways in which you have been showing appreciation to individual members in the group. If you can recall only a few instances of this, what can you specifically do to notice more individuals and what they are doing, and what can you do to take a moment to thank them? List five of the really exciting ways that you have shown appreciation to someone in the group: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Pg. 127If you could not name five, what could you do to take greater notice about what someone in the group is doing to make a difference?
- Sometimes when groups are working on big projects, there can be a great sense of pressure or stress. These can be tremendous opportunities for you to learn what group members need. How could you take advantage of these opportunities to watch for and listen to what the members could use to help them carry on? What role would you see yourself in during these high- pressure times in terms of supporting others? List some roles for pressure in a group doing its work and being successful: Positive roles: Negative roles: What signs would you notice indicating that group members were feeling pressure? What can you do as a leader to support and acknowledge others during these stressful periods? ? I make sure that people are creatively recognized for their contributions.? ( Student LPI Report: ? Creatively recognizes people?s contributions.?)
- Begin to keep a list or journal of various ways in which you could recognize someone. While this practice focuses on how the recognition needs to be personal to the individual being acknowledged, it can be helpful to have a tool like a journal or log in your smart phone to trigger some ideas for yourself when the time comes. Pg. 128
- To make recognition personal, you need to know the people in the group. The majority of organizations that you are involved in won?t be so large that you can?t get to know everyone to some degree. Challenge yourself to reach out to those in the organization you might not know so well and get to know them better. In fact, identify three people in one of the groups you?re in, and make a commitment to get to know him or her more personally over the next few days. Leaders who know their groups well will also be more aware of the things members are doing so they can be recognized. List three people you will reach out to over the next three days and get to know more about them personally with the idea in mind that you want to learn what inspires and encourages them in their lives. List what you learned here. Person Personal Inspiration/ Encouragement 1. 2.
- An easy way to keep track of what is important to people in a group is to keep a log of some sort. Just as you have a system for remembering phone numbers, birthdays, and e- mail addresses, you can keep notes, say in your smart phone, of things you want to remember about people? for example, favorite foods, sports teams, preferred colors, and music. Create a template to use in your smart phone, computer, or other medium to know what information to collect about people in the group. This could be something as simple as the name and encouragement you learned about in the previous question. Or it could be more detailed so you know things like birthdays, favorite foods, colors, sports teams, or music. List the fields you want to log in for the people in the groups you lead or participate in. Pg. 129 ? I praise people for a job well done.? ( Student LPI Report: ? Praises people.?)
- Name a time you were recognized for something you did. How did that feel? If you were to recognize someone else, would he or she feel the same way? Remember a time ( as recently as you can recall) when you were recognized in any way for something you did. Describe the feeling and reaction you had. Describe how you did anything differently with that group after you were recognized. How do you think others might feel the same or differently from the way you did?
- What do you think recognizing other people does for them? Why would praising someone for a job well done motivate, encourage, and engage that person? How does recognizing someone bear on his or her work and interactions in the group? Describe the feelings or reactions you believe others have when they are recognized for something they have done. Pg. 130 How do you think the way they feel contributes to their work and interaction in the group? Describe why recognizing someone matters.
- Think of someone you have seen in the past week do something meaningful for a group you are in. Did you do anything to recognize that person? Why or why not? If not, how might you still recognize that person now? In the past week did you recognize anyone for something that affected the group? Highlight one: Yes No If so: Why did you decide to do that? What did you do, and why did you choose that approach? If you didn?t at the time: Why not? Could you recognize that person now? If so, how would you do it? What would it matter if you did a recognition now?
- Make a list of twenty-five ways you could recognize someone for a contribution he or she might make. Don?t consider what the recognition is or how practical it is. Just create the list. ( We?ll explore this again in another leadership behavior.) Pg. 131 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.25. Pg. 132? I make it a point to publicly recognize people who show commitment to shared values.? ( Student LPI report: ? Publicly recognizes alignment with values.?)
- As a leader, think about how the group?s values look when they are being demonstrated or acted on. In other words, what is someone doing when he or she is demonstrating integrity (or whatever other values the group holds)? By reflecting on this, you know what to look for when people are demonstrating their commitment to the group?s values. Can you identify something in the recent past that someone in the group did that directly related to what the group holds as its highest values? What was it that the person did? What did you or the group do to acknowledge that person?s actions? If this person went unrecognized, what can you do the next time this opportunity arises?
- Once you know what aligning one?s behavior with the group?s values looks like, the next step is to recognize that. Think about the when, what, and why of the ways you can do that. Think about how you can recognize someone. When did the person do it? What specifically did he or she do? And why does it matter to the group? Think these questions through, and be prepared when the times arise for you to recognize others. You might think of the example you gave in question 1 or another experience and describe the when, what, and why approach you followed to recognize someone. When did the ?thing? that someone did happen? Pg. 133What did the person do? Why does it matter to the group?
- There are many ways to recognize someone publicly. One thing to consider is how comfortable various individuals in the group are with different types of public recognition. Think about some of the ways you could recognize someone publicly so you have a good collection of ideas to match an appropriate method with people in the group. Describe five ways that you can publicly recognize someone for something he or she contributed. Try to come up with ways you can do this beyond the traditional recognition dinners, social hours, or regular group meetings: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Pg. 134?I find ways for us to celebrate accomplishments.? (Student LPI Report: ? Celebrates accomplishments.?) 1. Think about all kinds of ways that you could celebrate accomplishments of the group. Remember that this behavior focuses on ?us,? as in ?the group as a whole.? Describe five ways that you can publicly recognize the entire group for something they contributed. Try to come up with ways you can do this beyond the traditional recognition dinners, social hours, or regular group meetings: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 2. Think about how you can make various recognitions for the group in a public manner. There might be an occasion to recognize a committee within the group or the group as a whole. How can you let others know about the group?s accomplishments in a way that recognizes the contribution the group makes, say, to the campus, school, or organization as a whole? Pg. 135Describe five ways that you can let others throughout the school or organization and community know about something the group accomplished: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. FURTHER ACTIONS TO IMPROVE IN ENCOURAGE THE HEART A list of suggested actions follows that you can try in order to Encourage the Heart more often. Some of the specific leadership behaviors in the Student LPI that are influenced by these actions are listed by number following each suggestion (see Appendix A for the complete list of Student LPI statements and behaviors). Choose three items you would like to work on, and describe the circumstances where you can potentially implement them.
- If your group is working on a larger project or event, identify small milestones along the way that would be appropriate places for you to celebrate. Don?t wait until the entire project is finished. Celebrating your success and progress along the way will encourage others to keep going. ( 10, 25) Pg. 1362. As often as you can, share a story publicly with the group or other appropriate audience about someone in the group who did something exceptional? that is, that per-son went above and beyond the call of duty. ( 5, 10, 15, 20, 30) 3. When recognizing someone, think of the three Ws: who, what, and why. Recognize the person by name (who). Describe what the person did. You don?t need to go into immense detail, but share enough of the story so others can see how exceptional the work was. Finally, tell why what the person did mattered to the group. Connect this person?s work to the values of the organization to demonstrate that you recognize how he or she is truly making a difference to make the group better. ( 5, 20, 30) 4. Use informal times and gatherings to find out what others are doing that exemplify what the group stands for. Take a moment to recognize these people on the spot. ( 10, 20, 30) 5. When you talk with someone in the group and get to know him or her, find out what encourages this person. Ask how he or she likes to be recognized and what has meaning for him or her. You might ask about times in the past when something special was done for that person and what that meant. When the time comes, you will be prepared to recognize this person in a meaningful way. ( 5, 10, 15, 30)
6. Write at least three thank- you notes every week to those who are doing work that supports and improves the group. ( 5, 15, 30)
7. If you receive or hear acknowledgments of good work from others about people in your group, be sure to pass those comments along to that person in a public way. You might read the note aloud at a meeting, put it on your group?s website, or release it through social media. ( 5, 20, 25, 30)
8. Be on the lookout for creative gifts you can use to recognize and reward people. You can find inexpensive items in retail stores that you can easily relate a story to. You can also use things you might come across, such as photos, buttons, small stuffed animals, painted rocks, ribbons, or some other trinkets. It is not the gift but the thought and the story that goes with the gift that matters the most. ( 5, 10, 15, 30)
9. Create some tools anyone in the group can use to recognize others at any time. Preprint some note cards or pads, for example, or come up with a unique award or some-thing that you can turn into a tradition for the group when others want to acknowledge exceptional work. ( 25, 30)
10. If you do have end- of- term or end- of- school- year activities, go beyond the typical certificate or plaques and be sure to put personal stories behind the recognition. If someone has been doing extraordinary work and made an important impact on the group, acknowledge those contributions by sharing them with the audience. You will give greater meaning to the contributions by sharing a personal story about the individual. ( 5, 15, 20, 25, 30)
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