When was the last time that you, as a leader, shared what you love about someone on your team? Now, I do not mean the standard “good job” or “thank you” kind of feedback. No, I am talking about a full-fledged, sincere, and honest opening up about what you really love and appreciate about someone. You know, statements like “I really appreciate how much you bring to the team, your sincerity, and willingness to be vulnerable and approachable, is something that inspires me to take risks and share my vulnerabilities….”
Now, if the previous line seems touchy-feely, squishy, or just flat out weird to you, then I want to challenge you as a leader. What I am saying is that as a leader, we can only have conversations that we are good at and comfortable having. So, if the above line makes you uncomfortable, then my assessment is that you have not been practicing it much. Because you have not been practicing it much, your team is not getting the amount of emotional nutrients that they as employees need to thrive and find their Flow.
Think about it, do you want to hear how well you are doing? I bet there are times when you have heard great and positive feedback from those you respect. That little bit of feedback was a huge motivator for you to do your best. Your team is no different. Each person thrives on hearing sincere appreciation from their leaders. Each person thrives to know how much they are loved.
The good news is that you, as a leader, have that option available to you right now. You can share your positive assessments of people on your team. Pick up the phone, or better yet, walk down the hall and share with someone how much you value them. Share how much you love them. If it is sincere and heartfelt, it will likely make their day. If the thought of this makes you uncomfortable, well, the best way to get good at something is to practice. So, go practice right now. As for me, I think I know someone who I want to share with how much I love and appreciate them.