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Inspire others and support their growth. 10 ways to make it happen

March 8, 2022 - 22 min read

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What makes a person inspiring?

10 ways to inspire others

How to inspire others at work

How can leaders inspire others?

We all have people who inspire us. From family members to famous historians, there are those who fill us with enthusiasm and make us want to do more with our lives.

But what does it take to be an inspiring person yourself? How can you be an inspirational leader for those around you?

At work, in particular, inspiration is a key ingredient to a successful team. When employees are inspired, they feel energized and motivated to be the best they can be. If you’ve ever been part of an inspired team, you’ll know how good it feels to be supercharged with enthusiasm.

Ready to harness the power of inspiration? Let’s break down how to inspire others at work and create an inspirational company culture.

What makes a person inspiring?

There are many characteristics that have the power to inspire and uplift those around you. You can learn how to inspire leaders and others with your courage, drive, creativity, or passion for life.

In the workplace, people look up to their leaders for inspiration and examples of how to approach their own challenges

These are some of the many qualities of an inspirational person:

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Inspiring traits usually pertain to themes of self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-discipline. However, a person can be inspired by anybody who emulates the characteristics they desire for themselves.

People who inspire those around them often make for more effective leaders. They can serve as examples of how to overcome challenges with creativity, how to cope under stress, and how to connect with your strengths.

COVID-19 has presented on-site and remote employees with several challenges, such as an increased risk of burnout. According to a survey, 89% of employees said their work-life was getting worse due to the pandemic

Inspiring leaders play a pivotal role in the workplace to uplift morale and steer the organizational ship forward. Through the power of inspiration and the right leadership skills, leaders can provide structure and stimulus to their team, effectively leading them to success, even during difficult times.

10 ways to inspire others

Knowing how to be inspiring to others can unlock the potential for major personal and professional growth. When one person inspires another, the gift of self-improvement has a ripple effect. It impacts everyone around them for the better.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

1. Build up those around you

A little compliment can go a long way. Giving people some well-timed positive reinforcement and recognition can have a tremendous impact. It can make them feel better about themselves by boosting their confidence and self-worth.

Sometimes, people feel bogged down by stress or anxiety because they don’t believe in themselves. But when someone else takes the time to acknowledge their worth, it can change the way they perceive themselves.

2. Be enthusiastic

When sincere, enthusiasm can be a powerful motivator. It empowers us to pursue our dreams and goals with high energy and confidence. Enthusiasm can also be contagious, encouraging those around you to adopt the same spirit.

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Knowing how to inspire others often means cultivating and sharing a positive mental attitude. Being enthusiastic about work, life, and relationships means sharing joy, passion, and enthusiasm with those around you.

3. Have integrity

Having integrity means being consistent with your values, actions, words, and treatment of others. When your core beliefs and moral compass stand in alignment with your behavior, you act with integrity.

When perceived in others, integrity can be used as a powerful tool for self-improvement. Standing by your beliefs and values indicates a desire to live life in an honest and straightforward way.

4. Be empathetic

88% of US employees believe that having a transparent and fair leader inspires positive change. They claim that empathic leadership results in higher engagement and job satisfaction.

Showing an employee that you care about their mental health, emotional health, and physical health more than their work output is an important part of being a leader. No project or sum of money is worth sacrificing health for. People come first.

5. Maintain a positive outlook

Contrary to what some people might think, maintaining a positive outlook is not about sugarcoating the truth or pretending life is always perfect. It’s about accepting reality for what it is and choosing to meet it with healthy optimism for the future.

In dark times, staying positive can be very difficult. People who maintain a positive outlook can inspire others to push through dark times and see the potential for happiness to return.

6. Practice gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for positive change. When times are tough, it can be difficult to fully appreciate everything that we have in our lives. That is where gratitude comes in. It acts as a reminder of all things which serve, nourish, and support us.

When you practice gratitude, it becomes easier for others to also practice gratitude. An attitude of appreciation for the people and things in life that you hold dear is something that can inspire others to do the same.

7. Stand your ground

Standing your ground on personal values, ethics, and beliefs indicates a healthy approach to life.

In some ways, we look up to our leaders as a source of stability, continuity, and safety. We want to rely on them for comfort in times of stress. If a leader is scattered and unsure of their beliefs, it will be much harder for them to inspire a follower’s trust.

8. Set clear goals and strive to achieve them

Inspirational people are those who can set a goal and do everything in their power to achieve it. It takes a lot of self-discipline and dedication to one’s passions to achieve your goals. Individuals who adopt this trait can use it to empower those around them

9. Have passion

There’s something extremely compelling about a person fueled by their passions. The fires of passion are what propel our plans into action. It pushes us forward into unknown territories with energy and zeal. 

People with a passion and hunger for success can serve as powerful examples. Essentially, passion promotes productivity and helps people commit to a shared vision.

10. Challenge them

Even though being challenged can sometimes cause discomfort, it can be really good for keeping the mind sharp and inspired. If everyone agreed all the time, very little would get done. This is why sometimes the best work is the result of some healthy, productive conflict.

Continuously challenging those around you will inspire important transferable skills such as brainstorming and creative thinking.

How to inspire others at work

Knowing how to inspire others at work can be used as a powerful tool for improving productivity. It can also foster mutual respect between employees and rally your team when times get tough.

Consider using these tips to inspire your colleagues at work:

  • Believe in your company vision. Having and believing in your company’s core values can invite others to adopt a similar clarity of mind. When one person paves the way forward with foresight and surety, it prompts everyone else to do the same.
  • Make others feel like part of the team. Building a sense of belonging in the workplace is a crucial aspect of inspiring your colleagues. When all team members feel recognized and valued for their role, progress can flow naturally.
  • Be an active listener. An employee who doesn’t listen properly to their team won't be able to inspire them. Talking less and listening more is a valuable soft skill that builds mutual understanding. To show you care about what your colleagues are saying, use eye-contact and open body language.
  • Aim high. Having drive, passion, and ambition is important for professional growth. Having high career aspirations and working toward your goals can inspire others to do the same. Set high expectations for yourself and everyone around you. This puts the team as a whole in a much stronger position.
  • Acknowledge your colleagues’ achievements. If a colleague accomplishes something great, take the time to acknowledge their success. This can help them see you in a more positive, inspiring light. Supporting and celebrating others’ successes will always be met with appreciation.

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  • Help others achieve their professional goals. If you want to inspire others at work, sacrifice some of your own time and energy to invest in their goals. You could spend time reviewing their ideas, helping them finish a project, or writing a recommendation letter.
  • Act with compassion. Compassion is an inspiring trait. And it’s one most offices could use a good dose of. Even a small expression of kindness, like a friendly note or lunchtime chat, can make somebody’s day.
  • Build trust. Trust takes time. If you want to serve as a source of professional inspiration to those around you, remember that it will be more of a process than a destination.

    You can start to build leadership trust with colleagues or employees by being consistent with your values, words, and actions.

How can leaders inspire others?

A good leader needs to know how to connect with and empower the people around them. In the workplace, having a charismatic leader that you genuinely admire makes a difference in the quality of your overall work experience.

When times get tough, human beings seek guidance. A true leader is somebody who sees their team’s full potential and encourages personal growth.

Leaders who know how to inspire others will also have a much stronger command of their employees. They’re able to motivate, drive, and empower their team to reach success.

Here are some strategic ways for leaders to inspire others in the workplace:

  • Lead by example. One of the most effective ways to inspire people is to set a good example. People are always looking for role models to aspire to. With enough practice, that could be you.

    You can inspire others by embodying the qualities of a great leader. This means conducting yourself in a kind, ethical, and driven way.
  • Show that you care. Strong leadership is only possible when mutual respect is in the fold. But respect is earned, not bought. Leaders will need to prove they care about their employees’ well-being before true respect and inspiration can take place.

    You can show your care for others by putting their needs above your own and providing them with opportunities for growth. Having emotional intelligence is a big part of effective leadership.

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  • Don’t punish failure. Failure should be met with encouragement, not punishment. A leader who doesn’t recognize failure as an opportunity for growth won’t inspire the people around them. Good leaders support others in both success and failure.
  • Show your appreciation. It is hard not to like somebody who pays attention to your achievements in life. Leaders who show their appreciation in the form of praise or recognition will naturally attract and inspire those around them.

    Employees deserve to feel as though their efforts are being acknowledged by superiors. It instills confidence in themselves and helps boost productivity levels.
  • Provide constructive feedback. Being able to give honest, constructive criticism to team members is a quintessential element of good leadership. Providing feedback shows commitment to individual growth. Plus, it allows people to improve themselves and their skills in a confidence-building way.
  • Create an environment of diversity. A diverse community is rich with the potential for shared inspiration. People from different backgrounds have unique experiences and opinions to offer, making the work environment a more stimulating place for employees and leaders alike.
  • Use rewards. Rewards can serve as powerful incentives to action and progress. A leader can inspire motivation and enthusiasm by offering rewards for improved work performance.

    While bearing in mind the complexities of reward power and referral power, a good leader can inspire employees to work hard.
  • Appeal to their personal values. It is much easier to inspire others when you have shared values and ideals. You can become a more effective leader by learning what your employees' individual values are and appealing to them for better human connection.

Inspiring employees is just as much about walking the walk as it is about talking the talk. Great leaders live their lives in accordance with their beliefs. They always set an example of integrity and constancy for others.

Being a leader can be a weighty responsibility because the spotlight is often on them for direction. Fortunately, there are many ways for workplace leaders to refine their management style until a sweet spot is reached.

Ultimately, you will have a far greater impact as an inspiring leader through your actions than through your words. So prepare yourself to show up every day with the commitment to helping others achieve their greatest outcomes.

Great leaders know how to inspire others

Being able to inspire others is an important personality trait for any leader. Inspired leaders revive energy in the workplace. They encourage everyone around them to dream bigger, push harder, and lead a more fulfilling life. 

Inspiration can also make your organization a more fun place to be. Especially in the everyday hum-drum of emails and project deadlines. The zest of inspiration can serve as a breath of fresh air for everyone. It shows people where their aspirations lie and what their future goals might look like.

Yes, it takes a special person to know how to be inspiring to others. But that doesn’t mean the necessary skills can’t be learned over time. Simply having an interest in uplifting and inspiring team members shows integrity. That’s already a big step in the right direction.

Are you looking to become a more inspirational leader or employee? Request a custom demo to learn how BetterUp’s coaches can inspire you to become an inspirational person yourself.

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Published March 8, 2022

Maggie Wooll

Managing Editor

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