How to encourage someone authentically is the goal of supervisors, team leaders, managers and directors of companies.
Also, often overlooked, is to encourage someone authentically as a friend, parent, teacher. This means in both a personal and professional setting the aim is to avoid tricks. Instead, come from an authentic place.
This ultimately boils down to Authentic Leadership
It’s about leadership from an authentic perspective, as opposed to – a dominating, ego-driven, tricks and hacks type – approach.
This non-authentic approach can often make people feel small or threatened. It’s really achieved by imposing your will, which in turn is a fear-based leadership style.
How do we cross the bridge from fear-based encouragement to authentic encouragement?
The key is – Communication.
With this in mind, we can now look at – how to encourage people authentically.
In the communication system I teach one of the big areas is preparation.
Preparation for any communication would be a conversation between:
- You (internally)
- In front of a whole group of people
Let’s take a group scenario for example. When I encourage the whole group of people to – succeed, move forward, expand, grow or serve their customers better – I need to prepare my message in advance.
It’s no use just rocking up having not considered what I need to say or do to encourage them to act.
As part of that preparation, I will be conscious of what approach am I taking to encourage them? Is it aggressive? Or is it authentic?
This leads us to the next important point.
Select your words appropriately in order to encourage someone
Most people default to ‘inspiration’ or ‘motivation’ when trying to encourage someone. But this only goes so far plus becomes ineffective if overused.
So what do we do next? Well, it’s also about choosing the words appropriately and making sure what you say fits with the person you’re communicating with.
However, even with this in mind, there is a very real challenge, in that not everyone is the same.
You can say something to one person that really fires them up and that communication is really impactful.
And you can then go say the same thing to another person and they say – “Okay, that would be nice.”
So even though you might think you’re communicating with everybody, you’re not always going to impact everybody the same way.
In order to help you overcome this common challenge, I’ve got some tools to share with you over
With the communication system I have there are three components: You, them, and the environment within which you’re communicating and around the outside of that there are 38 components.
I’m going to choose four that are really valuable to this situation.
How to encourage someone: Observation
As mentioned previously, you can’t always encourage somebody just by spouting out motivational and inspirational words of encouragement.
For example, let’s say you’re reading this and I say to you:
“You’re a brilliant authentic leader, you communicate effectively and encourage everybody. Don’t overthink it, just go and do it – you’ve got this”.
The reality is, this message may or may not have encouraged you. Because it’s not personal to you. I haven’t taken the time to observe you and learn more about you.
All I’ve done is delivered and I’ve spoken at you. As opposed to trying to connect with you and create that rapport.
So the next natural question is – what is one way to be able to dynamically observe someone in order to better encourage them?
Ask and observe is the skill to master here. It’s a very powerful skill once fully understood.
But for simplicity, you’ve got to start to ask specific questions about their personal situation. And then watch for their response.
It’s important to make it personal and narrow the questions down to identify what it is about their current situation that makes them feel they can’t do what you’re encouraging them to do.
Here are some questions to help you get started here:
- What is it you’re uncomfortable with?
- Why don’t you believe that you can do this?
- Which area are you nervous about?
- If you look ahead and imagine yourself doing this, what are you excited about?
- Which area specifically do you feel most uncomfortable with?
That way you can deal with the uncomfortable thoughts. In order to build enthusiasm so that we are tailoring your encouragement specifically to their needs.
If I’m working one-to-one, coaching or on a corporate level, it’s the same thing.
I can’t rock up and say I will create turning points in peoples lives.
I need to first find out which areas of their lives they want to transform.
Number three: The four archetypes
This final section is advanced. I typically only share it with people who’ve worked their way through most of my Communication System. However, it’s so critical to authenticity, that I want to bring it to your awareness.
In particular, knowing how to react to their response to your encouragement. Remember, you’ve asked the right questions and observed their initial response. But now they have responded – how do you manage this?
Well, there are fundamentally four archetypes in communication.
These archetypes are:
The main learning to take away at this stage is understanding that most people spend most of their time communicating from one (maximum two) archetypes. Whereas it’s essential you access all FOUR archetypes when communicating.
By accessing the right archetype when encouraging someone will be the difference between moving them to action vs them completely being refusing to act. In fact, if you come from the wrong archetype given the situation – you could lead to an angry response.
How to encourage someone: Summary
You’ve now got tools in your toolbelt to encourage someone from a place of authenticity. Not from a place of ego or fear. Remember there is a big difference in which approach you take.
So in summary, remember to:
- Be prepared
- Observe their response
- The best ways to observe their response is by asking questions
- Then managing their response by accessing all FOUR of your archetypes
The reality is, this will take practice.
To the point where you might have to move up and down the archetypes depending on the situation and the final message may come from just one archetype – typically the ‘Soverign’.
With all this in mind, if you take one key learning away, it’s – be authentic and be real.
Use language, communication, a style and integrity that is from – you.
Another way to look at this is – don’t be too worried about trying to be someone else.
For example, your company may have a strong character who communicates a certain way (and it’s impactful). That’s great. But you’re you, not them.
So be as authentic as you can.
I get it, beyond companies, I think the challenge is – people try to be someone they see on Instagram or YouTube and want to be like that.
But if I can leave you with one core message from all my years in the field of communication:
Finally, if your way of delivering is more factual. Don’t worry, that’s fine. If you have high energy that’s also fine. Just remember – they have to feel it, which means:
- Eye contact really is important
- Making sure they really get a sense that your heart is coming through your words, not your head