Your ability to influence the thoughts, feelings and actions of people ultimately determines how well you can leverage their potential.
4 questions about your leadership
- How well do you influence the choices people make about their own behaviour?
- Do you motivate people to follow your lead and strive to achieve your organisation’s vision?
- Can you inspire people to think and behave in ways needed to overcome challenges?
- Do you help people to see opportunity, to believe in their potential and keep going when times are tough?
7 essential steps to inspiring others
- Build strong relationships
Your ability to influence other people is limited by their willingness to let you. The depth of trust and respect individuals have for you determines how open to and inspired by your influence they will be. In order to build strong team relationships you have to know yourself. Understand and take responsibility for the impact your approach has on trust and respect. The following 6 steps contribute to the quality of relationships you build.
- Lead by example
Showcase the behaviours you need and want from everyone. Understand that while you are human and will have bad days you can’t afford to let your team see you behaving badly.
- Take charge
Your team needs to see you taking control of the reins and leading the way. If you want people to follow, demonstrate that you are willing and able to lead. Let people know that you understand the challenges ahead and with their help are ready to tackle them. Show your own confidence and people are more likely to get on board. Provide clear direction and regularly report in on what is working and what needs to get better.
- Create a compelling and confident vision of the future
Talk to your team about the future you want to create; that is, where you want to go as well as why and how you want to get there. Build a picture of purpose and optimism; help every member of your team see why what your business does matters and the role you need them to play. Set meaningful objectives and people are entirely more likely to strive to achieve them. Help people to see their own potential and that of the team. Showcase past success and reflect on why you have confidence in the team’s ability to win in the future.
- Be ambitious
Aiming for easily achievable targets is unlikely to inspire people to strive for greatness. While it matters that goals are achievable, aiming high is essential to motivating people to give more than an average contribution. Create an environment where people not only feel safe, but also encouraged to challenge the way things are done. Expect every member of your team to constantly search for improved ways of doing things. Reward and recognise people who consistently go above and beyond and contribute to the success of the team as a whole.
- Build a healthy workplace culture
Set expectations and hold people accountable for behaving in ways that enable both their own success and that of their colleagues. Expect people to treat one another with respect and decency. Focus on the personal accountability every team member needs to take for their own conduct and the impact that has on everyone else.
- Empower employees
Holding people accountable requires that you first empower them to do their job. Put simply, it’s unfair to expect anyone to take full responsibility for outcomes if you haven’t allowed them to contribute to decisions made long the way. While guiding and coaching is essential, so too is empowering people to play their role. Let people know what you expect and then allow them to make decisions about how they go about achieving what they need to.