Leaders carry an enormous weight of responsibility in leading and it is easy to get discouraged. I had a leadership coach teach me that the starting point with any leader is to first seek to understand what is on their mind before approaching them with your agenda. This has served me well over the years. I have been surprised many times by the weight of issues that leaders face.
How often do you encourage your leader? There is a myth that encouraging a leader is trying to get something from them. That isn’t encouragement and a leader knows the difference. Encouragement is rooted in truth not flowery complements or lies.
Here are five ways you can encourage your boss:
- Pray for them.
Pray for them often and pray with intentional requests. Pray for God to give them wisdom, direction, and favor. Pray for God to give them strength and to protect them. When you seriously pray for your leader, you will see them differently and will give them honor naturally.
- Respect them in front of others.
We are in a culture that encourages criticism. It is easy to find fault with your leader and for others to join you in pointing out their weakness. Give your leader the gift of respect at all times whether in their presence or in the presence of others. Giving someone respect doesn’t mean you think they are perfect but it does mean you honor the position of leadership that God has given them.
- Give them your best in the work you do.
Serve with diligence, bring solutions to the table not just problems, and seek to develop yourself to be a more effective leader. Be proactive and do more than is asked of you. When your leader sees you coming, they will want to find the time for you because they know they will be encouraged by you.
- When you have a concern, speak truth in love.
One of the gifts your boss needs is truth. But how that truth is shared can make all the difference in the outcome. You must speak truth but speak it with the right tone of respect and with a desire to help find a solution. Don’t blame your leader or challenge their leadership (unless there is a moral or ethical issue) but seek to understand from their perspective first and then you will have the equity to share truth because they trust your heart.
- Learn to listen.
Sometimes your leader needs someone just to listen, to help them express their discouragement. They don’t need you to fix it or to say the reasons they are discouraged aren’t real. They just need to “vent” so they can then regroup to lead again. It is such a gift to listen with the only motive being to seek to understand. If you build trust with your boss, this will be a very important gift you will give them. They may be so tired, discouraged, frustrated, or even hurt they are ready to quit. Your ability to listen and support can give them the courage and resolve to lead with renewed strength and commitment.
Your boss needs encouragement. Real, authentic encouragement that comes from someone who has prayed for them and who really cares for them. Be that kind of support to them.Your boss needs real, authentic encouragement that comes from someone who has prayed for them. Click To Tweet
What other ways have you found to encourage your boss?
Paul’s prayer to the believers at Ephesus is a great prayer to pray for your boss:
“I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19