Whether you’re a leader or follower, a manager or an employee, a coach or a player, the desire to be inspired and motivated is just part of your human nature. Who wouldn’t want to work for a motivating boss? Who wouldn’t rather lead by naturally inspiring those they lead instead of forcibly coercing people into doing what they need them to do? The ability to inspire and motivate others is an art that can only be mastered if the leader possesses people skills, persuasive skills and passion.
People skills are defined as the ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly way. Those who have good people skills are generally good at understanding a person’s values, feelings and desires. Great leaders understand that values drive actions, and they discover how to integrate others’ values with those of the organization. They are considerate of others’ feelings and are willing to put aside their own ego. They must understand basic human need as a desire, especially self-actualization.
For example, you could appeal to a person’s need for a sense of belonging by saying, “We want you in our organization, we know you will make a tremendous difference.” To appeal to self-esteem, you could say, “I have 100% confidence in your unique skills and talents which will make this project a success.” Understanding human behavior provides you with the knowledge needed to ignite people into action.
Listening and observation are ways for you to understand those you lead. The more you understand your followers, the better you will hear the words that are spoken and listen between the words that are not. The majority of people hear others but they do not listen. When you actively listen, you are able to put your biases and mental models aside and understand what the other person is communicating.
People skills allow you to connect with others, and without this connection, you will never motivate and inspire. You can only connect with people through open and honest communication.
Once you have mastered your people skills, you can take it to the next level and begin to persuade. Persuasion is using your communication skills to influence the actions of others. Inspirational leaders persuade their followers to believe in their vision to the point that it changes the followers’ actions. But persuasion will never occur before you’ve built the foundation through your people skills. People need to trust you in order to be able to be influenced by you, and they will never trust you until you can communicate effectively with them.
Passion is also a requirement to inspire. Inspirational leaders are able to connect followers with their deepest passions. When people find their passions, they are able to move forward. They believe they can be part of something bigger than themselves.
That’s one of the reasons why leadership requires an immense amount of energy. Leaders must lead with so much passion that it’s contagious! They must tap into their full potential with frequency. Only after they are able to tap into their own inner motivation and inspiration, can they tap into other’s motivation and inspiration.
Leaders bring people together by given them a common goal. There is nothing more powerful than a common vision and purpose. It is a human desire to want to belong to something bigger than oneself. Part of being able to motivate and inspire others is that individuals feel part of the in-group. They feel the leader cares for them. When individuals feel they belong and are cared for, they open themselves up to the influence of the leader.