Thankfully, You Don’t Need to Pressure People
The nature of leadership is taking people to places they haven’t been. Thankfully, you don’t need to pressure people in order to challenge them to reach higher.
Anticipate disengagement, once you begin pressuring people.
Ineffective leaders pressure people for more.
Real leaders inspire people to become more.
Inspired people challenge themselves.
Three prerequisites for inspiration:
- Believe in people. Don’t let faults and frailties be the reason you stop believing. You just haven’t unleashed their genius yet.
- Engage them in defining “better.” Stop convincing people you’re right. Define “better,” together. Inspiration is belief that things can be better.
- Ask challenging questions. Curiosity inspires.
Three questions that spark inspiration:
Once you define “better,” ask questions. Don’t bark orders.
#1. With your goal in mind, what do you need to let go?
- Find energy by eliminating trivialities.
- Repeating behaviors that don’t work discourages.
- Letting go feels like freedom – freedom fuels inspiration.
#2. If you continue doing the same things, where will you be in six months? (One year, Five years?)
- Inspiration requires reflection. Provide space for busy people to evaluate the outcomes of their behaviors.
- “Where will you be in six months,” invites people to think about where they’re going. It’s difficult to feel inspired when destinations are murky.
- “If you continue doing the same things,” is opportunity to reflect on effectiveness and efficiency.
#3. What value will you bring if you succeed?
- Inspiration requires purpose.
- Purpose ignites energy.
- Energy fuels movement.
The power of challenging questions begins with the leader’s heart.
You must believe in the mission and the people, in order to spark inspiration.
Manipulative questions result in resistance, not inspiration.
Helping people craft their path forward expresses alignment with their passions, belief in their abilities, and expectation for their success.
What must be in place for leaders to ignite and fuel inspiration in others?
What questions help people find their inspiration?
Great Monday starter, thanks so much — you consistently pack a lot onto a few minutes read and I appreciate that.
I also think in terms of Enlarging Vistas – “have you ever considered?” (accompanied with “I think your talents would match well” or “I think trying this would open new doors for your skills”)
In my experience the folks with the Right Stuff seldom need pressure, they already have DRIVE, they just need a nudge in the direction of fulfilling potentials…
Thanks Ken. You are very kind.
Love your approach and suggestions. As a coach, I might begin your explorations with “How.” For example, “How might trying this open doors for your skills?”
Your focus on skills and talents is powerful. Thanks for your insights.
Sometimes “pressuring” happens just because of who is doing the talking. Even if they don’t mean it.
In virtually all of your posts, Dan, there is at least one piece that grabs me. For this post, it’s “Stop convincing people you’re right.” Many times, the leader was given that responsibility because ‘you’re right’, no convincing needed. More importantly, I believe, a leader must be a ‘servant leader’ – dedicated to getting contributions from everyone by facilitating an environment that provides the motivation for each to do so. Listen and suggest rather than control and assign.
Once again, you show us how we can make people step back from the daily restlessness using humility and intelligence.
“Stop convincing people you’re right”
“Manipulative questions result in resistance, not inspiration”
Too few managers read your posts…