Creating a Spirit of Community
People feel more connected when their leaders provide appreciation and support for workplace contributions. In fact, nearly 90% of people feel a strong sense of team spirit when their leaders very frequently or almost always engage in this behavior. Conversely, less than a third of people feel a sense of team spirit under leaders who almost never or rarely engage in this behavior.
This leadership practice is often described as ‘encourage the heart’ because heart is the water for the marathon. No heart means no connection which means no return loyalty, engagement and productivity; after all, creating breakthroughs in the face of challenge can be tough work!
Leaders ensure that encouragement is both personalized, being targeted and relevant at all times. Encouragement is provided firstly to an individual showing appreciation for individual excellence, and also secondly to the community to which this individual has contributed. The latter is done when the group celebrates the values and victories, ensuring the success is not just about one person but more so about the team.
Nobody likes to be taken for granted, cites Kouzes and Posner, co-authors of ‘The Leadership Challenge’. When people’s courage, determination and skills are noted and overtake the fear and hesitation of facing a new corporate vision, positive progress will happen; isn’t that what a leader is facilitating? Opening hearts and minds is certainly something to celebrate!