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Encouraging the Heart

As part of the Sophia Blackmore Leadership Programme, Charlene Cheong from Secondary 3B shared about an important aspect of leadership – encouraging the heart. A leader who is able to inspire and encourage the hearts of others is able to build an inclusive team that achieves great success. (This speech was delivered in July 2021 during morning assembly.) 

Charlene’s Speech

Good morning Ms Chen, Vice Principals, teachers and fellow Fairsians. I am Charlene Cheong, a member of the Student Council. Today, I am here to share with you one of the five core practices from Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Model: Encourage the Heart. 


I’m sure everyone has succeeded in something before. When we achieve our goals, we feel proud of our efforts, and this sense of accomplishment gives us more motivation to continue thriving on this journey. 

Likewise, encouraging the heart is a way of building positive working relationships and giving a sense of affirmation. This in turn increases productivity when we feel good about the work we do. 

There are times when we are physically and mentally exhausted. In such situations, we will feel frustrated and disheartened, and might want to give up. However, the best leaders are able to rally everyone around them. They find meaningful ways to recognise and celebrate everyone’s contributions. As a result, the team will feel valued and encouraged in spite of the challenging circumstances. 

This practice uplifts the hearts of others and shows that we care and believe in our team, and we are always firmly supporting our team members. This is how an exemplary leader builds a community in which no one is left behind. 

How can we practise this in our daily lives? 

Firstly, we can verbally affirm our group members’ good work. This helps to directly recognise their hard work and contributions. Our words of encouragement and affirmation should be specific and personalised, so that they will mean a lot more to the recipient.

Secondly, we should also celebrate both big and small milestones. For instance, we can be more intentional in making time for breaks and conversations as we work together on group projects. This helps to foster a cohesive and supportive culture amongst team members.

Based on my personal experience, encouraging the heart has had a great impact on my team’s performance. With many group projects due in the coming weeks, our group members have tried meaningful ways to encourage the heart. For example, our group members have been actively recognising each other’s efforts. Statements like “I feel that you did a great job!” and “I like the way you carry out your work!” really brighten everyone’s mood and motivate us to complete our tasks more efficiently.

In conclusion, an effective leader needs to appreciate their team members’ contributions, and be intentional in creating a community that cares for one another. 

I’d like to end with a quote, ‘Leadership is not an affair of the head, but rather an affair of the heart’. With all the upcoming group projects, I hope that we will be able to put this leadership practice to good use.
Thank you for listening and I hope you have a great day ahead!