4 Ways to Challenge People with Power and Grace

You can’t drift to high performance.

Skillful leaders challenge people.

Successful challenge unleashes human potential.

Rising to meet a challenge:

  1. Develops self-confidence.
  2. Enhances self-respect.
  3. Elevates fulfillment.
  4. Improves performance.
  5. Earns respect from others.
  6. Strengthens relationships.
  7. Maximizes talent.
Challenge people to challenge themselves. Image of a hand reaching for a hand-hold.

Good comes from rising to meet a challenge, even when you give your best and fail.

Growth includes challenge like honey includes sweet.

How to challenge people with grace and power:

#1. Challenge people by challenging yourself.

Jerk-holes are just pushy.

Hypocrites challenge others and except themselves.

Leaders that don’t challenge themselves cause resentment when they challenge people.

The first practice of leadership is “Model the Way.” Kouzes & Posner

Growth moments always include challenge. You don’t grow until you challenge yourself.

Life stays the same until you challenge yourself.

New challenges make us novices again. Image of a child's sneakers.

#2. Challenge people by understanding their talents and aspirations.

Don’t challenge lions to eat grass.

  1. Assess talents with the VIA Character Assessment.
  2. Clarify personal and career goals.
  3. Distill assessments and goals into behaviors and habits.

#3. Challenge people to challenge themselves.

2 questions that help people challenge themselves.

Question #1:

On a scale of 1 to 10 how challenging is this skill you’re working to develop?

Follow up with:

  • Why didn’t you choose a lower number? Explore what they’re good at.
  • What makes you say it’s challenging?

Question #2:

How might you nudge your challenge-number a little higher?

  • Trying harder isn’t an answer.
  • Always distill challenge into behaviors.

#4. Challenge with grace.

Rushing to help prolongs incompetence.

Offer to help but don’t rush to help. People need to believe you’re on their team. But don’t let compassion be the reason you prolong someone’s incompetence.

Don’t assume you’re helping in a helpful way. Ask, “What does help look like to you?”

Graceful challenge is rigorous.

How can you challenge yourself today?

What does “challenge with grace” mean to you?

7 No-Nonsense Questions that Challenge People without Being a Jerk-Hole