I was recently asked, How do I influence others to want to be better and recognize where growth needs to occur?
It’s an important question and one that I know many others have. The shortest answer is two-fold:
- Influence them by improving yourself everyday
- Spur their recognition through solid, ongoing coaching.
Let me say a bit more.
First of all, you can’t “make” others want to be better. This is a change issue, which means it is a choice issue. Which means you need to help the other person see a clear picture of what better looks like, internalize the benefits of “being better”, and perhaps most importantly (and oft overlooked), see themselves as capable of reaching that level of improvement.
You can begin to make progress on all these fronts by engaging the other person in ongoing conversation. Learn more about their perspective of their work, about their motivations and challenges at work and their goals. All of this will help you see how you can help them see the picture of the future that you see. If you expect this to be a one-shot conversation, expect to fail.
Also, check your own expectations and beliefs about the person – if you don’t feel they can or will succeed, the likelihood that they will is severely limited. This is part of what I mean by influencing them with your behavior – in subtle and less-subtle ways, your belief will show through in your behavior. Monitor your belief in others carefully.
Your behavior will also influence to the degree that others see you being willing to change and willingly studying, trying and improving. Want one simple idea here? If you want others to accept your coaching, be open to being coached (including by them).
Lastly, if you are serious about helping them grow, you must be consistent in your focus on that goal. Discuss their performance, their goals, their progress and offer your support regularly. This important question requires ongoing effort – effort that will be richly rewarded for both parties!
About the Author
Kevin Eikenberry is an expert on team and leadership development and is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group.
He has spent the past 15 years helping organizations all across North America with leadership, learning, teams and teamwork, creativity and more. His client list includes: the American Red Cross, Chevron, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., John Deere, Purdue University, Southwest Airlines, TriHealth, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Mint and many more.
He is a frequent presenter at professional conferences and a sought-after keynote speaker. He currently serves on four boards of directors in order to contribute, hone his leadership skills and add an additional dimension to his experiences.
He is the author of the bestselling books Remarkable Leadership and Vantagepoints on Learning and Life, and a contributing author to more than 20 other books. He was recently named to three exclusive lists: Inc.com’s Top 100 Leadership and Management Experts in the World, 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference, and the American Management Association’s Leaders to Watch in 2015. He publishes four electronic newsletters and a popular blog, Leadership & Learning, collectively read by more than 80,000 people worldwide.