Someone once told me that words said in anger cannot be taken back.
We live in the age of tech where communication has been reduced to emails and instant messaging, it is quick, fast and readily available. It is no wonder that people are becoming thought of as tools in the pursuit of some bigger goal – like a cog in the wheel of the conveyor belt within the factory of the cloud.
In a globalised economy where we’re dependent on someone we can’t see, hear, don’t personally know – it’s all too easy to forget that the person on the other computer has feelings, problems, emotions too.
Why do we disregard people’s feelings?
It can seem like the quickest way to inspire change is to exert pressure and intimidate. But such changes are usually short lived and before you know it, you’re back with the same challenges.
It takes great courage and emotional strength to communicate and bring across an idea with grace and patience.
The result of such courage is often – sustained change and motivation of the people around you. Do it well and consistently enough and find people around you going above and beyond expectations. Sometimes it happens without you even asking (I’ve personally done this for a manager I liked).
That said, I am not downplaying the importance of timelines or quality. But rather, I’m advocating a perspective that things can (and should) be done a little differently.
Today, I would like to share a few ways I believe you can start becoming a person that inspires and motivates the people around you.
1. Lead from the heart (make friends)
Make friends – Take a keen interest in the people around you (at work or otherwise) and be genuine about it. When you take the time to know the people around you at personal instead of a transactional level, there is a deeper connection. When you think about it, you’re much more willing to help out a friend rather than a strange co-worker or barking boss. You would put in that extra effort to see things through for a friend. Your colleagues, subordinates and even management can smell corporate BS from miles away. Over time, true intentions become apparent, no matter how well it’s hidden.
2. Take time to understand and coach for change
The next time someone lets you down, don’t frown – take the extra effort to understand what happened and empathise – most people have a reasonable explanation for the things they do. Then go on to coach up them.
3. Practice patience by encouraging self discovery- ask questions (nicely!)
Instead of telling people what to do or what you think should be done, ask questions. Often, people already know the answers to the problems they have. Be there to guide them into discovering solutions on their own instead of giving them out. It is so much more powerful for a person to discover a solution rather than being told outright what to do.
4. Get started and start with you!
Lead by example – even if you’re not in a leadership position. Recognise that the actions you take impacts the people around you, like your friends, family, co-workers and superiors. Don’t wait until you’re in a position to inspire change to start inspiring change. In whatever small or big way, start being an agent for change by being a symbol of patient leadership. It is hard to expect the people around you to be patient when you can’t do it yourself.
Where do you stand on the line?
The next time you’re tempted to lose your cool at work/while driving/to a friend/spouse, stop!
Count to ten and think about what you’re about to do. Is it really worth?
And, if someone else is being impatient towards you, share this article with them!
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