Servant Leadership Characteristics: Encouragers

By Mark Vickers, Ph.D.


WorkTraits Encouragers are the social glue that keep teams together. They are passionate and engaging. They help us not take life too seriously. However, they can be perceived as self-focused, or self-conscious rather than team-conscious.

The challenge Encouragers face in becoming servant leaders is in overcoming this perception. In fact, it is not simply overcoming a perception, it is overcoming a habit of drawing attention to self, even in playful ways. Often this is unconscious, but it builds upon the perception of self-focused leadership rather than servant-focused leadership.

Encouragers must consciously decide to lead with their same enthusiasm, but not care who gets the credit for success. Many great things can be accomplished when the leader doesn’t need the credit. But this can be very difficult for Encouragers and leave them feeling a sense of emptiness. There is a way to overcome this, however.

Encouragers need that emotion that comes from success. It’s an emotional adrenaline that gets them ready for the next challenge. Encouragers can retain that emotion while simultaneously transforming into a servant-focused leader by rejoicing in the success of the team as a whole, and specifically in individual members. Encouragers should give individuals praise. Let their team know the success is theirs. Let them experience what it means to give credit to others first. This is the basis of servant-focused leadership characteristics and over time is more rewarding to Encouragers than the old habits.


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