One of the greatest responsibilities we have is to
support ourselves and others in living at our highest and best.
Whether we're parents, partners, friends or leaders, it's incumbent
upon us to help others to live as close to their unique potential as
With everything we say and do, we're
influencingpositively or negativelythe people we care
about. The ideal is to do this with consideration and intention. Here
are ten ways you can help others see and realize the best that's
1. Believe in Them
We all have self-doubts from time to time. Our
confidence is shaken. We lack the faith in our talents and skills to
go for an important promotion or launch a new initiative. Having
someone believe in you at these times is priceless. The stories of
great men and women are saturated with examples of someone who
believed in them even when they didn't fully believe in themselves.
2. Encourage Them
"You can do it." "I know you can."
These are words that are all-too-infrequently voiced. Sincere
encouragement can go a long way in helping someone stay the course.
The more specific you are, the better the results. "I remember
when you got through your slump last year and ended up winning the
sales contest. I'm willing to bet that you'll do even better this time."
3. Expect a Lot
We're often told not to get our hopes up. We're
encouraged to have REALISTIC expectations. But when it comes to
helping others operate at their best, we sometimes have to up-level
our expectations. This can be taken to extremes, but there are many
times when a teacher, a parent or even a boss has required more of us
than we thought we were capable. And we've risen to the challenge
which enabled us to see further than before.
4.Tell the Truth
And tell it with compassion. We often avoid telling
the hard truth because we don't want to upset anyone. We want to be
NICE. But telling the truth is a loving act. You may be the only
person who can or will say to another what needs to be said. And you
can confront someone without being combative. See Top
Ten Ways to Confront Without Being Combative.
5. Be a Role Model
One of the best ways we influence is by our own
actions. Who we are speaks much more loudly than what we say. Don't
think that people aren't watching you. They are. And they're
registering everything about you consciously and unconsciously. We
automatically emulate our role models. And we're ALL role models to
someone so let's be good ones.
6. Share Yourself
Too often, we miss the value of sharing our failings.
We don't want to be vulnerable so we hold back. In doing so, we
deprive others of our experience, our learning and our humanity. When
you share from your own experienceespecially your
failuresyou increase empathy, you're more approachable and you
increase your relatability to others.
7. Challenge Them
The word "challenge" has some negative
connotations. The meaning we're using here is, "a test of one's
abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating
undertaking." We all need to be challenged from time to time.
Doing it for another is an art form. Go too far and it will backfire.
Go too easy and you will appear patronizing. Remind people of their
commitment to being their best and state your challenge. "I
challenge you to overcome these unimportant opinions and get on with
the real task at hand, get the job done, make the commitment, etc."
8. Ask Good Questions
A good therapist or coach doesn't tell their clients
what to do. They ask good questions in order for the client to
understand themselves better, to get clear on what the issue is and
from there to make good choices. You can do the same. By asking
elegant questions, you cause people to think and come up with
solutions. They'll appreciate it. Gary Lockwood has a good article
about this called Asking Intelligent Questions with Impact.
9. Acknowledge Them
You find what you're looking for. If you're looking
for the best in someone, you'll see it. If you're looking for their
failings, you'll see those. Catch people doing things right and tell
them. When we acknowledge the good deeds of others, they tend to do
more of them. Write a note. Send a card. Give them a call. Praise
them in front of others.
10. Spend Time with Them
We love what we give our time to. By devoting your
most precious resource (time) to another individual, you're showing
them that you truly value them and your relationship with them.
Invest time in your relationships; it's what life is made of.