Encouragement Is Needed for Excellence

A group of 28 students from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (12 men and 16 women) performed a treadmill test designed to elicit a maximal effort in less than 12 minutes. They were each given a baseline test with no encouragement. The participants were then placed into one of four experimental groups and were matched for overall fitness.

During this test, the control group received no verbal encouragement at all, while the other three groups received verbal encouragement every 20, 60 and 180 seconds respectively, beginning six minutes into the workout.

Verbal encouragement consisted of a set of encouraging statements read from a prepared text. These included ‘Way to go!’, ‘Come on!’, ‘Good job!’, ‘Excellent!’, ‘Come on, push it!’, ‘Keep it up!’ and ‘Let’s go!’, and they were rehearsed by the investigators beforehand, kept at a constant volume and accompanied by hand clapping.

Here’s what happened

  • There were no significant differences between the control group (no verbal encouragement) and the group that received encouragement every 180 seconds (infrequent encouragement).
  • The group that received encouragement every minute (60 seconds) had significantly higher test values for relative VO2max, blood lactate concentration, RER and RPE.
  • The group with encouragement every 20 seconds had significantly higher results on all these measures and for exercise time.

The results clearly show that verbal encouragement intended to increase a person’s maximal effort has profound effects on performance. The more frequently people were encouraged, the more effort they put forth.

In real estate, these same principles hold true. Although, it may seem impractical to have someone cheering you on before and after each phone call, there are many ways to surround yourself with the encouragement needed to achieve business excellence.

  • Create your schedule around you. Time block your wellness, family and learning experiences first. Build in your business activities second.
  • Have a weekly coaching/mentoring conversation. The encouragement works the same whether you are the coach or the student.
  • Surround yourself with posters, images and people that matter most. What can you look at and immediately remember why you are doing this in the first place (AKA a vision board)? What passage of a book really stuck with you and how quickly can you pull it up?
  • Place the thank you notes or testimonials you’ve received in a prominent place in your work environment.  Put them in a frame or simply hang them on a nearby wall. Use them for their impact on you, not just as a marketing tool for others.
  • Read email from your family! That is your Long & Foster Family. So many of our leaders are producing content designed to keep you motivated and succeeding. Close to Home is just one of them. Take a few moments get energized by their efforts.
  • Find others for you to encourage. Zig Ziglar said it best: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help others get what they want.”
  • Get John Maxwell’s Daily Reader book. This is the single best book we have found for a daily inspiration. A page a day from the world’s best authorities on leadership.

Last but not least, join the rest of your family for ongoing learning, inspiration and encouragement on the Success Path Facebook group.