When you know how to inspire others, you create impactful relationships

When was the last time you spoke with someone you found truly inspiring? While it is tempting to relegate “inspiration” to the purview of inspirational speakers, the reality is that inspiration and awe play underappreciated roles in our day-to-day lives. Our professional lives are no exception, and whether or not we experience wonder on the job can make the difference between a fulfilling career and daily drudgery. If you have ever worked under a supervisor who does not know how to inspire others, you likely understand the difference inspiring employees (instead of punishing them) makes for morale and productivity. The same applies in many areas of life, from inspiring others to give back to inspiring your spouse to take part in a household project. As you master how to inspire people on the job and off, you’ll create lasting personal and professional relationships while achieving any goal you set.

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How to inspire others: Core concepts

Mastering how to inspire others hinges on honing leadership skills which evoke feelings of awe and wonder in others. In fact, learning how to inspire people and influence them distinguishes great leaders from mediocre ones. The reasoning is straightforward: Since every person on Earth is influenced by his or her thoughts, feelings and behaviors, true leaders make skillful use of those “pressure points” to influence others’ behaviors. For example, leaders exercise soft skills (like empathy) to enhance engagement, since empathy facilitates the trust necessary to inspire others. Conversely, hard skills (like hunger and drive) are useful for inspiring by way of example. 

How to inspire people in the workplace

Employees are likely to be most inspired by leaders who are simultaneously empathetic and driven toward building a successful business. At its root, organizing your business around how to inspire others boils down to communication. That is, in order to master how to inspire people, you must first understand what already inspires them. Understanding what makes people “tick” is one of the most fundamental components of both empathy and effective communication. As you build interpersonal skills related to inspiring others, you’ll find that your communication skills will also improve, since you’ll be forced to pause and consider your staff’s perspective in day-to-day correspondence. You’ll also become skillful at steering workplace meetings so that, while inspiring employees, you’re also accomplishing the goals you’ve set for the meeting.

How to inspire people: Does your business need a boost?

When it comes to making employee satisfaction a priority, it’s crucial that we learn to discern signs of staff discontent. Before asking how to inspire others, ask yourself the following:

Why do I think my team needs to be inspired?

If you find yourself asking “how to inspire others,” it’s likely your business needs some help with inspiring employees. What answers pop to mind? Be honest with yourself in considering not just what inspires you, but what you’ve seen inspire friends, family and other business partners. When you look outside of yourself and into what your peers and competitors have encountered, you’ll likely discover the issues your company needs to address to create a more inspirational company culture.

leaders inspiring employees

Does most of my team believe that I know how to inspire people?

teaching how to inspire people

This is a difficult question to ask yourself, but if you really want to gauge if you know how to inspire people, you need to ask yourself if your team thinks – better yet, knows – you understand how to inspire others. If the answer is “no,” you’re in the right place for learning skills centered on inspiring employees.

Are there other business issues behind my asking “how to inspire people?”

As a business owner, you must dig deep. Honestly assess your company and ask: Am I asking this in order to avoid a deeper question, like how to manage my business’ finances? If there is a potentially catastrophic issue looming (or festering) for your business that is unrelated to morale, you must address that issue first before addressing how to inspire people.

how to inspire people

How to inspire others: Practical steps

In your search to discover how to inspire others, you’ll need not only information but also practical strategies. Tony Robbins’ philosophy details just that: The seven steps to creating lasting change through effective leadership skills includes recognizing human behavior, the mind-body-emotions triad, basic human needs and the role of limiting beliefs. You can achieve lasting results around how to inspire people by transitioning from managing others to inspiring them as follows:

1. Lead by example

learning how to inspire others

As a business owner, in order to master how to inspire others, you must lead by example. This means demonstrating the courage to act, remaining persistent yet flexible and practicing authenticity in everything you do. You must also make every effort to avoid micromanaging so that your staff can rise to their full potential.

2. Set goals and expectations that inspire employees

Rather than set a standard of “good enough,” be sure to set a standard of “exceptional” through the expectations you set for your business. Without making unreasonable or uncompensated demands of staff time, set high standards for what your team must accomplish. Meanwhile, remain open to staff feedback as you learn how to inspire others. As you lead by example, you’ll find that you become increasingly adept at inspiring those around you.

how to inspire others

3. Master empathy

learn how to inspire others

The rules of public speaking apply to running a business. Instead of assuming you know what your audience already knows and wants, utilize empathy to discover your audience’s wants and needs (even when they are your employees). By considering your listener’s perspective, you’ll discover their point-of-view while also easing your own anxieties. With practice, you’ll learn that showing empathy is one of the most powerful tools in mastering how to inspire others in business and your personal relationships.

4. Focus on relationships

As self-sufficient as the Navy SEALS are, even they depend on relationships with other governmental counterparts to be successful. Instead of trying to force, coerce or shame someone into a certain behavior, be like the SEALS and focus on building quality relationships. Without a solid foundation of trust, it’s impossible for someone you’re trying to inspire to feel comfortable around you. Approach this person from a point of curiosity about their interests. From here, you’re better able to find areas of cohesion to form goals. When both parties enjoy a relationship and benefit from their collaboration, this forms the basis of understanding how to inspire others. 

focus on relationships to inspire others

5. Embrace the process

embracing the process

As important as it is to achieve goals in work and life, focusing solely on the outcomes you want is not an effective way to inspire others. When you’re exclusively goal-oriented, you lose that personal touch that endears others to your cause. Instead, realize that collaboration is a creative process. Your goal is to appreciate everyone’s leadership style, whether it’s artistic, managerial or entrepreneurial. When you’re demonstrating mutual respect for all involved, the process of collaborating becomes a source of inspiration in and of itself. 

Learn how to inspire others

Instead of wondering how to inspire others, develop a skill set for inspiring employees centered on your own leadership identity. Discover your business identity by taking Tony Robbins’ Leadership Identity Quiz.