We can inspire others simply by listening to them, offering them an inspiring perspective on their own life and asking them inspiring questions.
For example, if Matt asked Karen what she did, and she said, “Oh Matt, I don’t do much. I’m just a dental hygienist during the day and take care of my kids and spend time with my husband at night.”
Matt would have the perfect opportunity to give Karen the chance to be inspired by herself. Matt could talk about the big difference dental hygienists make. He could say, “Karen, you give a great gift to your patients. Clean teeth are one of the building blocks to good oral health, not to mention good overall health. Also, clean teeth help a person to be more confident. And when people are more confident they are more likely to positively affect the world around them.” (Matt is sounding a bit like a Wikipedia entry in this blog post. But you get the idea.)
Matt could then talk about the importance of motherhood and also the importance of being a spouse. In making these comments, Matt expresses appreciation for all Karen does for the world and gives her a chance to be inspired by who she is.
It is important that Matt says things he really means and doesn’t just make grandiose statements like, “I believe a dental hygienist is more important than all the kings, queens and presidents in the world put together.” Unless Matt really means this, it would just sound like fluff and hot air and probably fail to inspire Karen in herself. (If Matt really means this he has a deeply unique worldview.)
Matt could also ask Karen questions with the intention that as Karen answered she would be inspired by herself. Questions like, “What do you love about being a dental hygienist?” and “What types of patients do you love to see?” (Negative questions like, “What parts of your job do you dislike,” probably won’t help Karen inspire herself.)
Depending on Karen’s job satisfaction, her answers to these questions might inspire her and they might not. If her answers don’t inspire her, Matt could go back to talking about what impact dental hygienists, mothers and spouses have on the world. (And he could try sounding more natural and conversational and less like an encyclopedia.)
In my experience, a conversation where you can inspire someone about himself or herself is a really fun conversation to have because you feel good and they feel good.
Game of the Day
Who can you inspire to be inspired by him or herself today?
Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska. He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset. For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.