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Welcome to day three of my look through "Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others" by John C. Maxwell and Jim Dornan
Chapter 3 - A Person of Influence... Has Faith in People (15p)
Everyone wears an invisible sign that says "Make me feel important.". In today's culture, people are less connected and much busier. Most of what we consider communication at work is action-oriented, requests about what we need. This is definitely something I am guilty of. Having faith in people is a concept I've just kind of generally figured out with my staff, but applied inconsistently. And except in a few cases where I've had the opportunity to mentor someone myself, it's not something I've done with others. This is definitely something I can stand to more intentionally put into more consistent practice.
Having faith in people is believing the best about people, acknowledging it, and helping them to see it themselves. Celebrating success, pointing out what you appreciate and (caution*) projecting the best that you see in people, even if they can't see it themselves. (* This must be genuine, not manipulative. This also must be fair and reasonable or it will be very clear very quickly that it's fraudulent.)
When someone affirms you, it feels good. You want more, so you begin to model the behavior that generated the praise, or which could generate future praise. Ultimately, it helps you to focus on your potential and to "dream big.". To be sure, the only way to avoid failure altogether is to do nothing - it's not about not failing, it's about believing you can succeed.
There are some practical ways to do this: show someone you believe in them before they've succeeded, point out their strengths to them, list their past successes, give them confidence in the midst of failures, experience some successes with them, show them the vision of their future success, let them know you're counting on them for big things.
Next steps for faith:
- find a strength - intentionally let someone know that you recognize a strength of theirs. And not in the context of a need you have for them.
- build on past successes - in a case where you need someone's help - either to support you on an initiative or where you're making a difficult assignment, give them the context of your belief in them and their strengths and successes. Similar to the past one, but just making sure it's not only when you need them that you're affirming them.
- help others overcome defeat - failures happen. How we recover and help others recover is what matters. Give them the time to work through it / talk through it. Help when asked or when appropriate, but don't jump in too quickly to solve for them. Make sure they still feel valued and affirmed and that mistakes are part of growth.
- start off right - suggests for future additions to team, affirm up front, they will seek to live up to it.
For me personally - do more of this, do it intentionally, do it at times when I don't need something. Also, slow down. Too often I do not give adequate time to the clarity/importance of assignments and I rush people. This doesn't give them a chance to really add their own input. And if I'm serious that this is supposed to be a collaborative environment where everyone is encouraged/expected to innovate and participate and make the process better, I'm not allowing that to occur when I dump and run.