5 Powerful Strategies That Strengthen Teams

By Dan Rockwell

Discouraged people have hearts like water and knees like butter.

The ability to rise is about you, not the challenge.

7 causes of discouragement:

  1. Hard work with no or slow progress.
  2. Disappointed expectation. A lost promotion, for example.
  3. Misguided leaders who notice bad like it’s an Olympic sport.
  4. Big wins followed by nitpicking. Enjoy imperfect success for a day or two.
  5. Living with the consequences of bad decisions.
  6. Being humbled, especially when you hoped to be honored.
  7. Pulling the rope alone. Everyone needs a with.

You’re confused if you believe tearing down improves performance .

Strengthen the discouraged. Don’t shoot the wounded.

7 simple factors in high performance:

  1. Joy, not disappointment.
  2. Strength, not weakness.
  3. Values, not external pressure.
  4. Confidence, not insecurity.
  5. Support, not criticism.
  6. Boldness, not fear.
  7. Coaching, not directing.

5 powerful strategies that strengthen teams:

Strong people go further than weak.

#1. Know that people with weaknesses achieve great things – because of strengths, not because of weakness. (When strengths don’t match job requirements reassign, retrain, or remove.)

Don’t let people’s weaknesses obscure their strengths.

#2. Manage your own energy. You eventually loose the ability to encourage others when your knees constantly feel like butter.

Discouraged leaders become faultfinders.

#3. Focus on what might be, more than what used to be. Remember disappointment enough to learn. Otherwise, have a short memory when it comes to failure.

#4. Understand a few small wins today is better than a big win next week. How might you design and notice progress in daily work?

#5. Realize the ability to rise is more about people than challenges. Talk about people more than challenges.


I reconnected with a leader who doesn’t care for shallow encouragement. But I sent a text after our conversation. “I enjoyed seeing you this morning.” He was encouraged.

Kindness strengthens.

What makes people feel weak?

How might leaders make people feel strong?

Added reading:

9 Super Effective Ways to Motivate Your Team (Inc)

What Not to Do When You’re Trying to Motivate Your Team (HBR)

This post was previously published on Leadership Freak and is republished here with a Creative Commons license.


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