What do you wish to be remembered for at the end of your life?
The money you made?
The cars you bought?
Or the effect you had on people around you?
You may think that it’s the first two things you really want, but deep down what most of us actually crave is the respect of others.
And it’s a worthwhile thing to want.
If you can inspire loyalty and respect from people from different walks of life, who all hold different beliefs, then you can call yourself a success.
Is it any surprise that the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, was so successful?
Luckily, inspiring others is not rocket science.
Like most things in life, it comes down to a series of behaviours and actions.
Here are a few of them.
1. SHOW YOUR PASSION
Inspiration comes from passion.
If you don’t get in touch with yours and share it with others, then they’re not likely to find you very inspiring.
Think of the last time you met someone who loves what they do for a living.
I bet you were both surprised and inspired.
If you want to inspire others you need to find that passion of your own.
The flow-on effect is contagious.
2. TALK THE TALK, WALK THE WALK
If you say you’re going to do something, do it.
A leader who promises the world and doesn’t deliver isn’t a true leader, they’re a politician.
If you promise a colleague that you’ll help them with a task, then don’t back out.
People hate to be let down and they don’t respect those who don’t keep their word.
If, for some reason, circumstances change and what you promised has fallen through you need to have the backbone to explain this honestly to the person involved.
Don’t hope they’ll forget it because they won’t.
3. HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF SELF
You can’t get people to like you.
Some people, no matter how hard you try, simply won’t take a shining to you and you shouldn’t worry about this too much.
Most likely, it says more about them than it does about you.
But I’ll tell you who most people respect: those with a strong sense of self.
People who speak their mind on issues that move them, who will stand up for what they believe in.
No one likes someone who swings with the wind.
The fastest way to be disliked is to try and be liked by everyone.
4. SHOW COMPASSION
Life can be tough sometimes, but no one ever forgets the people who treated them well when the chips were down.
This is when friendship really matters.
If you’re a boss and a staff member is going through a tough time, then that’s the perfect opportunity to support them.
It’s important to be compassionate with staff and to show them that you’re human and capable of being both kind and fair.
Sometimes bosses worry about being seen to be soft with staff.
They worry that it means they’ll no longer fear them.
But you don’t want staff to fear you.
You want them to respect you and the difference is huge.
When someone fears you, they do what you say because they have to.
When they respect you, they do what you say because they want to please you.
5. ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG
Let’s be honest.
Not that many of us are great at this one.
It’s so much easier, for example, to blame some external factor, like the traffic, for being late than admitting you could have got up earlier.
But admitting you’re wrong is extremely important, especially in offices.
It sends the message that honest mistakes are not the end of the world.
It’s really important to lead by example on this one because a lot of staff are too concerned about making mistakes and this can prevent them from being bold and taking risks.
That’s not what any leader wants.
Of course, these are only a handful of things you can do to build respect and inspire others and it’s worth thinking of the areas you can improve on.
And if you really want to see if you’re life is on tract ask yourself the following: Do you inspire others around you?
How will people remember you?
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