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Excellent, excellent post, Steve! I think many leaders believe that it's a cultural, gender, or generational need... It's not. As you said, in the absence of information, we all fill the gap. And the reality we create is usually more negative and less motivating. How NOT to encourage your employees. Let me know what you think.

Steve Roesler

Hey, Clayton

You know, there are no doubt some folks who will look at the scenario and think, "Nah, that's cute but no one would do that in real life." One would hope not. However, I've watched that interaction live and in-person, and was on the receiving end twice in my career.

Good job with the vid. . .


Say it ain't so, Steve! In all seriousness, we try to over-exaggerate some of the leadership failures in the videos. But I can't even count the number of times we've been approached by someone telling us that they had that same experience in the workplace... Motivation to be better I guess.

Steve Roesler

Yep, Clayton, there's a reason why so many people are interested in good leadership and good management.

M. Dillon

I agree with you on, "The human mind abhors a vacuum. In the absence of accurate information we'll create our own story to fill the space" and yes, we do tend to fill that space with negative reality. There is a limit to what tangible compensation and bonuses can do. But, encouragement at work place does help motivate people to grow. Thanks for writing this nice article.

Business Incentive

This was a great article! It all goes back to basic human needs and desires that drive people. When someone feels trusted, needed, fulfilled, they will work harder for you. When management can create a family of sorts amongst their team everyone wins and the company will thrive.

Steve M

Well said, Steve.

I used to work somewhere where I never received encouragement for my good work - in fact, when I had review meetings, all they talked about were the negatives, no positives at all. So what did I do? I left. Many others did as well. The company's lost its talent and it's left with the hangers-on and those who don't care about the work they do or the company they work for.

I think it's crazy when good work goes unrewarded. We're not exactly expecting a holiday in Hawaii, but is it really that much to ask for just a pat on the back? Apparently so, in some cases...

Steve Roesler

Steve M

"We're not exactly expecting a holiday in Hawaii, but is it really that much to ask for just a pat on the back? Apparently so, in some cases..."

Steve, that's exactly the kind of honest one-liner that prompted me to write this piece. There are too many places where I hear some version of that line spoken by an employee out of sheer exasperation.

Thanks for taking time to add that to the discussion--

Steve R

Human Resources HR

Encouragement is a great way to motivate and get results from your staff. The trick is to make them feel wanted and feel important as to their role within what it is you do.

Headhunter David

Many people are afraid of talented underlings. It has been said that the mark of a strong leader is to promote the people best able one day to replace him. A weak leader sees those people as a threat.

Steve Roesler

Headhunter Dave

Well said and a legitimate sticking point for organizations.

Macular Degeneration Treatment

Meeting human needs are the basis of becoming a great manager. The more you can encourage and help someone to grow as an employee, the better you and your company would be. Very great article.


I appreciate your intuition in suggesting leaders emotionally invest in their leaders. The difference between an employee doing the bare minimum for a company and going all out to do their best often lies in the amount of support they receive.

Access Employee Database

Encouraging someone with talent takes someone talented too. Imho, some superiors are way too arrogant to acknowledge talent, especially of those younger than them.

Chicago Garage Builder

I experienced both ends of the encouragement spectrum. One boss who was super excited but was cut throat if you ever made a mistake. Also had a boss who only talked to you if you did something wrong or if he didn't know what you were doing, he yelled at you and threatened your job. There isn't a required class for being a manager at a company, some people just get lucky and then end up making all the staff upset with their lack of managing skills. A company only succeeds when all the levels are working together, some people lose sight of that simple fact. Its sad, especially in today's economy.


The big mistake is to make your staff-members afraid. You should encourage them to talk.


Open communication can create massive results in business. I recommend it and encourage it in all areas and kinds of businesses!

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