Everyone likes to be encouraged! Sometimes leaders (and wives/husbands/mothers/fathers/sisters..etc) forget to “cheer on” their partner.

Recent research showed that a person who responds enthusiastically, like a cheerleader, to his or her partner’s good news produces a stronger and healthier relationship than a person who responds compassionately to bad news.

This was found in research by Shelly Gable, Ph.D., UCLA psychology professor, and reported in Journal of Personality & Social Psychology (Vol. 91, No. 5). Gable and fellow researchers videotaped 79 couples talking about positive and negative events. They found there are four typical responses to accomplishment:

Best response: Energetic/Constructive: “You really deserve it! You’ve been working hard for that promotion, and you earned it.”

Wishy-washy response: Passive/ Constructive: only saying, “That’s nice.”

Lousy response: Energetic/Destructive: “Are you sure you can handle all that responsibility?”

Ultra-lousy response: Passive /Destructive: changing the subject

Relationship Research found people with partners who typically give Energetic/Constructive responses to positive events reported the highest level of relationship satisfaction.

A partner’s Energetic /Constructive response to positive events also does more good for their relationship satisfaction than a partner’s sympathetic response to bad news.

2 Tips for Leaders To Become Cheerleaders

So, how can managers, executives and other leaders use these intriguing research findings?

When your employees or work colleagues do something wonderful, make sure you immediately give an Energetic /Constructive response. Translation: Act like a delighted and enthusiastic cheerleader.

When your co-workers or employees hit roadblocks or make mistakes at work, a fabulous leader immediately, acts understanding, resists the temptation to push their face in the mud, and makes sure the employees do not wallow in their problems.

For example, if an employee makes a mistake, you can say, “I realize that bothers you. I know you usually do a great job. How can you avoid making that mistake again in the future?” Transform the negative event into a mood-lifting comment and encouragement.

As leaders, you can apply this relationship research in your day-to-day leadership skills. The results will be a stronger emotional bond with your employees.

Since what-goes-around-comes-around, the stronger the bond, the more likely your employees will; enthusiastically support your leadership vision, see to it that your goals get accomplished, or achieve high productivity to earn your delightful cheerleading response again and again.

References: http://www.drmercer.com/artman/publish/article_10.shtml

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