James Kouzes and Barry Posner published Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others. This book provides an excellent guide on the art of recognizing and appreciating others in the workplace.
Kouzes and Posner outline 7 essentials in encouraging the heart: (1) set clear standards; (2) expect the best; (3) pay attention; (4) personalize recognition; (5) tell the story; (6) celebrate together, and; (7) set the example.
Although the book was published in 1999 it is still an informative and practical resource in 2006. I developed training sessions, curriculum, and resources for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s Leadership StAR (Staff Appreciation and Recognition) program. This book played a key role in the development of that program.
Kouzes and Posner discuss the heart of leadership. They note that encouragement and courage both have their roots in the Latin word cor, which literally means “heart.” Read the following lines from the introduction:
Heart brings forth images or courage when faced with great challenges, hope when confronted with great difficulties, and the fortitude to reach inside and give your best even when faced with great odds. Heart involves strength and toughness. It involves leaders’ awareness of their responsibilities to those they’re entrusted to lead, as well as to the values of the organizations that select them.
Leaders who encourage the heart fuse “toughness and tenderness. Guts and grace. Firmness and fairness. Fortitude and gratitude. Passion and compassion. Leaders must have courage themselves, and they must impart it to others.” (introduction p. xvi)
- Are you putting your heart into leadership?
- How well are you encouraging the hearts of the people you lead?
- How many different tactics can you list to encourage the heart?
Paul Simon had an old song about 50 ways to lose your lover but Kouzes and Posner outline 150 ways to encourage the heart: Click here to access a PDF version of chapter 12 on 150 ways to encourage the heart.
Commit yourself to transforming at least 5 ideas into heartfelt actions.