The blog, Compassion in Business, wrote in a July post "Respect for each others abilities and support by acknowledging and encouraging each other creates synergy. Team management is about inspiring and encouraging enthusiasm and cooperation."
I had a conversation with an executive yesterday who said that inspiration and encouragement is the last thing he remembers to do… and yet it is the first thing he remembers when someone else does it with him.
I think that's true for many of us. As we careen from meeting to meeting, project to project, family to friend gathering, we arrive as a willing participant but sometimes a passive one as the day's obligations consume our energy. Even when we host the gathering, our attention is often on getting to the end and not always on wrapping our arms around those on the journey with us.
It is even more important as leader to see encouragement and support as a necessary part of the success of a project. It may be a given as parents and good friends but even there we can take our closest for granted.
While I'm a big supporter of the 'suck it up' school for some things (bathrooms must be cleaned, reports must be generated), offering sincere thanks along the way is good practice. For bigger efforts or changes, the language of appreciation should be found throughout the effort and at the end. From handwritten notes to public acknowledge to a quick call, folks will adopt new measures faster when their efforts are noted.
Compassion doesn't mean weakness - compassion is leadership.