Encouragement, Flattery and Trusting Teams: Part 2 Countering Toxic Leadership

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Trust is the foundation of any thriving team, and one powerful way to cultivate it is through genuine encouragement. In part two of this three-part series, we'll delve into how authentic encouragement motivates trust and serves as an antidote to toxic leadership, which can erode trust within teams.


1. Intrinsic Motivation:

Authentic encouragement operates on the intrinsic motivation principle. It's not about using external rewards or manipulation tactics; instead, it's about recognizing and valuing the genuine efforts of team members. This core principle builds a foundation of trust as individuals come to know that their contributions are esteemed for all the right reasons.


Fancy words aside. You make accurate, positive comments on genuine personal efforts as the leader. Doing this stokes the fire of internal motivation for your reports to keep doing what was reinforced. (doing an excellent job with their job)


2. Constructive Feedback Fosters Growth:

Pairing praise with constructive feedback in a genuine manner is a potent tool for nurturing trust. When team members trust that feedback is given with their growth and best interests in mind, it transforms constructive criticism from a source of apprehension to a vehicle for personal and collective development.


This approach counters the negative impact of toxic leadership, which often fails to provide constructive guidance. This leads us to our next point. 


3. Countering Toxic Leadership:

Authentic encouragement actively counters the destructive effects of toxic leadership. Your people come to you with their own experiences—some good, some not good.


Toxic leaders tend to manipulate, exploit, and create divisive team environments.


By promoting authentic encouragement, teams can counteract these toxic behaviors. It establishes a culture of openness, transparency, and mutual respect, effectively neutralizing the detrimental influence of toxic leaders.

(one of my favorite toxic leaders...get it?)

Two Face GIFs | Tenor


4. Mutual Support:

Authentic encouragement is the linchpin in fostering a culture of mutual support within the team. When individuals are confident that their contributions will be recognized and valued, they are more likely to collaborate, assist, and uplift their colleagues.


And you want this for your team. Not simply because it's a better work environment for them, you can't and shouldn't always be answering questions. An indicator of health in this area is teammates feeling ownership of others' success. 


Things are dealt with and overcome without your involvement.


This dynamic creates a powerful shield against the divisive tendencies of toxic leadership, which often pits team members against one another.


5. Long-Term Relationships:

The sustained practice of authentic encouragement builds solid and lasting relationships anchored in trust.


Over time, team members grow to expect sincerity and dependability from one another.

This sense of reliability counters the volatility associated with toxic leadership, which can lead to high turnover rates and fractured team dynamics.


6. Positive Work Environment:

A culture of genuine encouragement contributes to a positive work environment. Positivity bolsters team morale and, consequently, trust among team members.


This positive atmosphere counterbalances the toxic atmosphere often engendered by toxic leaders, who can create a hostile or tense work environment.


Authentic encouragement is a transformative force within teams.


It motivates intrinsic drive, supports growth, fosters mutual support, and acts as a potent antidote to toxic leadership.


By actively countering toxic behaviors, promoting open communication, and creating a positive work environment, authentic encouragement is a beacon of trust within teams.


This practice fortifies teams against the corrosive effects of toxic leadership, paving the way for collaboration, growth, and sustained success.



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