Stop and think about a person who has inspired you. What traits did they have? Honesty, integrity, confidence, good communicator, accountability, creativity, empathy, resilience, humility, vision. When I think of leaders who have inspired me, I think of the humble individuals that accepted me, made me feel valued, taught me and challenged me. My favorite mentor, if his first week on the job he walked into my office, rolled up a chair and said: “teach me what you do”. Talk about making an impression, this mentor, not only wanted to see the nuances of my job, he then performed them. He wanted a complete understanding of my job and he knew that the only way to do that was to do it himself. Later in my career, I had a completely opposite manager who on my first day pretty much said this is your desk and walked away. I felt lost and was floundering as I figured out everything the job entailed. I asked a lot of questions, took initiative on some things, make mistakes on other things and continued to ask questions. These two managers were opposite in their management styles, one was a leader and the other was a supervisor. It was the small simple thing that made the largest impact.
Being a good leader requires more than being a high performer, you need to be able to motivate others to achieve their greatest potential. Unengaged employees cost companies billions of dollars a year. This means when an employee is not engaged in their work it costs the business not only time but money in loss of productivity and revenue.
Managing and leading are two very different things. To manage a team is to ensure that tasks are accomplished, a leader inspires and encourages others to perform better, learn new skills and reach higher goals. When you are coaching and training, refrain from using the industry buzz words. People want information in clear concise direction that is to the point.
Tony Robbins shares that by building your soft skills, empathy and interpersonal skills your communication skills will increase and help you as you lead and inspire others in the workplace.
Strategies leaders use to inspire others:
- Lead by Example
Pitch in on those necessary and mundane tasks. Everyone loves to see leaders get their hands dirty. Leave your ego behind, your actions always speak louder than words.
- Treat everyone with kindness and master empathy.
Empathy in the workplace is the ability to step into someone else’s shoes and beware of their feelings and understand their needs. This is showing deep respect for coworkers and team members.
- Give people responsibility.
This is more than just accountability when someone feels ownership they want to succeed. Ownership means outlining expectations and entrusting them to take charge.
- Be a good listener.
Become the listener to seek to understand. This requires talking less and paying attention to the other person speaking. I am notorious for asking questions. I will listen and then ask questions to ensure I understood. Leaders like questions, it means that you are willing to learn.
- Get to know people.
Be friendly, show interest in others by actively listening. Jeff Boss a former navy seal learned that “nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care”.
- Give credit where credit is due.
Praise and compliment often. Be Creative, bring in coffee or buy lunch. I recall one very cold morning when I was working in North Dakota, my boss came in with coffee for everyone, he knew I didn’t drink coffee and had a hot chocolate for me. The simple gesture that he noticed I didn’t drink coffee meant more than the hot chocolate did. I felt valued that he had noticed something so small about me.
- Believe in them.
Believe in others, is trusting that they will do the job.
Inspiring others is seeing each person’s potential. Inspiration comes from constantly being the cheerleader, giving encouragement, teaching and challenging others to reach higher.
Leadership happens in moments. Sometimes it is the smallest things that can positively influence others.
5 Proven Ways to Inspire People to Be Great | Tony Robbins. (2019, June 24). Retrieved from https://www.tonyrobbins.com/business/how-to-inspire-others/
Cornett, I. (n.d.). How to Motivate Your Team & Others at Work. Retrieved from https://www.eaglesflight.com/blog/how-to-motivate-your-team-and-others-at-work
Foo, M. (2009, December 23). 6 Ways to Motivate Others. Retrieved from https://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2009/12/23/how-to-motivate-others/
Nelsen, P. (2016, September 6). 7 Tips to Influence and Inspire in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://leadstar.us/7-tips-influence-inspire-workplace/
Schwantes, M. (2017, November 30). 8 Things the Smartest Leaders Do to Motivate Their Employees. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/8-powerful-ways-to-motivate-inspire-your-employees-this-week.html