How Does One Inspire Others?

InspireWe all know people who are inspiring.  It can be the leader who gets up in front of the employees on big occasions to get them revved up and encouraged.  It can be the leader who provides their employees with an example of purposeful and principled living.  Everything a leader does, every day, impacts their employees and those around them.

The world needs men and women who are competent and caring leaders. But just how does one inspire others?  Simply put, if a leader would take even a few minutes to ask people how they’re doing, thank them, and encourage them to do more; that effort counts. People not only want to follow such leaders, but they also do so with great enthusiasm.

A leader who inspires taps into people’s values and desires.  A leader can shape people’s identity and their long-term aspirations and commitments.  Inspiring others is all about taking action and it starts with yourself.  Here are ten simple ways you can inspire people to be their best:

  1. Be a good example. People watch what you do more than they. Be someone worth emulating.
  2. Care about others. People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Ask questions. Take a genuine interest in people.
  3. Encouragement. Everyone goes through tough times. When you support people and encourage them through these times, you’ll be inspiring them to see the best in themselves and in the situation.
  4. Be inspired yourself. Look for people, ideas, environments and knowledge that you find inspiring and motivating.
  5. Share from your own experience. You have more to share than you realize. Mine the rich experiences of your life and share your wisdom from your unique point of view. You may be the only one who can touch someone with your inspiring message.
  6. Be vulnerable. Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. Others will relate to you. They’ll understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges.
  7. Tell stories. Facts tell and stories sell. They inspire, too. We learn best from parables and we all need to develop our own inspiring stories.
  8. Be a good communicator. Increasing your ability to communicate effectively is a critical element for you to inspire others. Watch how you speak and what you say. Invest in your communication skills.
  9. Challenge people. Many of us have had teachers who at times seemed more like tormentors than mentors. They challenged us to do our best, and we were better for it. Practice “carefrontation”—the careful and caring confrontation of others.
  10. Read. It may not follow that all readers are leaders, but certainly all leaders are readers. Stay informed. Share what you read with others. Tell people about books that have inspired you. Share the knowledge.
    (Top Ten Ways to Inspire Others to Be Their Best – Michael Angier)

Leadership is the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.  You don’t have to have “charisma” to inspire the people around you. Find your preferred style and start making it count.

Sara Branner

Sara Branner

Sara Branner is executive director of Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area and a member of the Leadership Colloquium @ UMW advisory board.

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