Creating an environment of affirmation opens the door to deeper conversation, authenticity, creativity, synergy and a list of other vital forces that drive a healthy small group. Not only that, creating an environment of affirmation will diminish the amount of gossip, negativity, and intense conflict a group experiences. It’s not difficult to create an environment of affirmation but it does demand a leader be proactive and never misses an opportunity to affirm. Ken Blanchard, the great leadership guru once described how to become an affirming person and create an environment of affirmation. He said, “Catch people doing something right then tell them.” That’s all there is to it.
A few tips:
· Be an affirmer before, during, after, and between meetings.
· Notice the little achievements and voice words of congratulations to the right people at the right time. When is that… anytime, anywhere.
· Take note of accomplishments at work, home, on the ballfield, golf course, etc… and verbalize “at-a-boys” whenever possible.
· Never use moments of affirmation to teach. Don't use the word "but" to transition to evaluation. For instance, never say something like, “I really liked how you led the Bible study tonight but if you’d told them what Jesus said in chapter 15 that would’ve made it even better.” Remember this… The word but after a word of affirmation erases everything that was said prior to the word but being voiced.
· Email, twitter, and, text message words of affirmation. This allows the person receiving them to look back at them again and again.