In a recent conversation with a business executive, I happened to mention the other part of my Values focus, which is Values in marriage. For all our discussion on Values impacting the culture of a business, the concept of using Values as a way for executives to improve their relationships at home had a specific resonance.
We carried on our conversation and agreed that the state of an individual’s homelife could add or detract from the efficacy of the team and the culture at work. If a husband and wife have a rocky relationship, chances are it will eventually impact the business in a negative way.
He was intrigued that my wife and I are also involved in encouraging husbands and wives, and wanted to speak more about that as a part of an organization’s environment and culture.
Where does Encouragement fit?
The Value of Encouragement includes giving courage or confidence or hope; the expression of approval and support.
Many companies include “People” in their list of Values. After my research of Fortune 500 companies, I’ve concluded that the Value of People is one of 17 Common Values. These 17 Common Values are ones which I argue we all assume every company has – they do not differentiate one company from another.
However, if “People” truly matter to a company, then the leadership should look at the Value of Encouragement as a differentiator.
Many leadership books include encouragement as a topic within what they teach. For example, a favorite book on this topic is Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others by Barry Z. Kouzes and James M. Posner.
Some would consider Encouragement a soft skill – one that not everyone can embrace or even need. I’d argue it’s appropriate for everyone because it’s a part of caring for your people.
In Part 2 of the book Encouraging the Heart, Koozes and Posner list 7 essentials of encouraging and then walk through each essentail in detail:
Also included in the book are 150 practical examples of how to incorporate Encouragement into your business’ culture.
What better way to take care of people than to encourage them to:
- have courage
- be confident
- be filled with hope
- know they’re supported
- be affirmed
Encouragement in Marriage
As mentioned at the beginning of the post, my wife and I are actively involved in spreading the Value of Encouragement through the lens of marriage. We both write at EncourageYourSpouse.com and have begun a series of 30 Mid-Marriage Encouragement Videos.
Take a look:
Our mission is to encourage husbands and wives to lead meaningful lives. Why? Because a solid and growing relationship with your spouse positively impacts every part of life, including the impact you have at work.
Encouragement. It’s a powerful differentiating Value for business, marriage and family.
as S. Truett Cathy has said,
“You know the best way to tell if someone needs encouragement?
If they are breathing!”