Employees in your organization will be more courageous if they are recognized for taking bold actions and leaders are generous with their feedback and encouragement, writes Joel Garfinkle. “As a group, you’ll become more innovative and productive as you unleash your people’s courage,” Garfinkle writes.




1. Emphasize the Value of Being Courageous

Frequently remind your employees of the value of being courageous. Highlight the examples from history where leaders overcame fear and achieved great things.

Be clear that you are not defining courage as recklessness or brash behavior, but rather the calculated will to persevere and withstand fear and difficulty. Taking risks can feel counterintuitive to many, so your people need to know you value courage above perfection.


2. Model Boldness

Practice making courage a defining characteristic of your own work. Share examples of enacting riskier strategies that helped you achieve results.

Don’t be afraid to share the setbacks you experienced in the pursuit of challenging goals. Transparency and honesty about temporary failures on the road to success demonstrates an authentic commitment to courage in the workplace.

What better way to prove you embrace boldness than to be frank about your own mistakes? Your team will also benefit from hearing how you felt in the moments when your courage paid off.


3. Start Asking Better Questions

When you’re meeting with someone one-on-one, take time to review previous decisions and discuss missed chances to have courage and take risks in the pursuit of more ambitious goals. To avoid it, will simply be a conversation of disappointment and regret. Instead, keep the open-ended dialogue flowing. Ask thought-provoking questions like:

“What would you have done if you weren’t concerned about negative impact?”

“What stopped you from trying something bolder?”

“What could have happened if you’d tried that idea and it didn’t work? Could we manage those consequences? How bad would it have been?”