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Dr. White, I work in a setting where I have ten people who report to me directly. In thinking about applying the languages of appreciation to my team, this seems overwhelming – I can’t monitor and encourage all ten at once. What should I do?


30Jun 2011

Ken, your situation is not uncommon in many business settings, and does create some challenges. Managers who have a lot of people whom they supervise can feel like showing individualized appreciation to their team members is unrealistic. And it would be, if you were trying to do so to all team members at once. Rather, we suggest you “divide and conquer” – you have to prioritize on whom you are going to focus for a period of time. We advise managers to pick 1 or 2 of their team to concentrate on initially. This can be done by first encouraging those who appear to be discouraged and are struggling the most, or you could identify the team members that you want to make sure and not lose (your key players) and start with them. Another strategy is to begin with those with whom you interact the most on a daily basis and direct your energies there.  Then, after a couple of weeks, you should identify another couple of colleagues and concentrate your communication of encouragement and appreciation to them. Over time, you will be able to effectively show support to all of your team. Hang in there!

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