Effective leaders inspire and empower their followers. They empower them in their own God-given talents and strengths. They help them to see and walk in their strengths and work on their weaknesses. While there are many effective tools to inspire and empower others. A very effective tool is the power of encouragement and acknowledging efforts. A mistake that I’ve seen some leaders make is lifting one follower up by putting others down. This can be a major detractor to effective leadership.
Effective leaders wish to inspire and empower all of their followers. You cannot inspire or empower others when you are intentionally or unintentionally pitting them against each other or breeding a seed of jealousy. And while I understand that many do not see their actions as offensive it is important to look at it from multiple perspectives.
When we put someone else down while acknowledging others accomplishments it causes conflict within the body of the followers. Some would say they use these techniques to bring out the competitive nature of followers. To those I say keep in mind that not all followers are motivated the same. Do you really want to risk wounding followers and halting their growth potential?
Now there is a time and place for all things and all techniques. And there is room for healthy competition, but there is a fine line between healthy competition and propagating jealousy and/or discord among followers.
Now, I have heard some leaders say that their purpose for using this technique is to bring to the forefront negative emotions and conflict causing attitudes like jealousy within the organization, in an effort to nip it in the bud. To bring an awareness of sorts. And while this is effective in that capacity it is just as important to understand the cause of jealousy. There is a cause to every emotion and behavior under the sun. Most times jealousy is brought on by an insecurity, a lack of something. So the question is how do you treat the cause? If followers are jealous and insecurity is the cause, how is making them feel less than helping the cause?
I am well aware that those of us that may be unintentionally guilty of this are not aware of the impact these actions can have on others. This is why it is important that this be brought to your attention. I have found little changes in leadership can positively impact the morale within the organization.
Effective communication is essential in the art of leading others. When we are communicating in any capacity we have to first analyze the purpose of the communication. When the purpose in known then we can begin to communicate effectively. So when communicating by lifting someone up or acknowledging their accomplishments we have to ask ourselves what is the purpose? Is it to acknowledge an accomplishment? If it is to acknowledge an accomplishment then that can be accomplished by simply issuing the accolades. Other followers may be more inclined to improve because they are then motivated by hearing those accomplishments. If it is to encourage others to use their talents and gifts, then do that. If followers are motivated by encouraging words this could ignite their fire to progress in that area. The key is to know your followers. Understand how they are inspired and motivated. And do that!
An alternative to lifting one up while putting others down would be to acknowledge the deserving follower, but also encourage the others to be their best self. Encourage them to use their God-given talents and abilities. It is important that people understand that they don’t have to do anything to be accepted. They just have to be the best them that they can be. Bringing out their individual talents should be a priority and purpose of leaders. After all, that’s God’s priority and purpose. Is it not?
Keep in mind that why we communicate; the intent of our communication, is just as important as the communication itself.