Top Ten Ways to Support Someone in Being Their Best
by Michael Angier
One of the greatest responsibilities we have is to support ourselves
and others in living at our highest and best. Whether we're parents, partners,
friends or leaders, it's incumbent upon us to help others to live as close
to their unique potential as we can.
With everything we say and do, we're influencing positively or
negatively the people we care about. The ideal is to do this with
consideration and intention. Here are ten ways you can help others see
and realize the best that's within them.
1. Believe in Them
We all have self-doubts from time to time. Our confidence is shaken. We
lack the faith in our talents and skills to go for an important promotion
or launch a new initiative. Having someone believe in you at these times
is priceless. The stories of great men and women are saturated with examples
of someone who believed in them even when they didn't fully believe in
2. Encourage Them
"You can do it." "I know you can." These are words that are all-too-infrequently
voiced. Sincere encouragement can go a long way in helping someone stay
the course. The more specific you are, the better the results. "I remember
when you got through your slump last year and ended up winning the sales
contest. I'm willing to bet that you'll do even better this time."
3. Expect a Lot
We're often told not to get our hopes up. We're encouraged to have
REALISTIC expectations. But when it comes to helping others operate at
their best, we sometimes have to up-level our expectations. This can be
taken to extremes, but there are many times when a teacher, a parent or
even a boss has required more of us than we thought we were capable. And
we've risen to the challenge which enabled us to see further than before.
4. Tell the Truth
And tell it with compassion. We often avoid telling the hard truth
because we don't want to upset anyone. We want to be NICE. But telling
the truth is a loving act. You may be the only person who can or will
say to another what needs to be said. And you can confront someone without
5. Be a Role Model
One of the best ways we influence is by our own actions. Who we are speaks
much more loudly than what we say. Don't think that people aren't watching
you. They are. And they're registering everything about you consciously
and unconsciously. We automatically emulate our role models. And we're
ALL role models to someone so let's be good ones.
6. Share Yourself
Too often, we miss the value of sharing our failings. We don't want
to be vulnerable so we hold back. In doing so, we deprive others of our
experience, our learning and our humanity. When you share from your own
experience - especially your failures - you increase empathy, you're more
approachable and you increase your relatability to others.
7. Challenge Them
The word "challenge" has some negative connotations. The meaning we're
using here is, "a test of one's abilities or resources in a demanding
but stimulating undertaking." We all need to be challenged from time to
time. Doing it for another is an art form. Go too far and it will backfire.
Go too easy and you will appear patronizing. Remind people of their commitment
to being their best and state your challenge. "I challenge you to overcome
these unimportant opinions and get on with the real task at hand, get
the job done, make the commitment, etc."
8. Ask Good Questions
A good therapist or coach doesn't tell their clients what to do. They
ask good questions in order for the client to understand themselves better,
to get clear on what the issue is and from there to make good choices.
You can do the same. By asking elegant questions, you cause people to
think and come up with solutions. They'll appreciate it.
9. Acknowledge Them
You find what you're looking for. If you're looking for the best in someone,
you'll see it. If you're looking for their failings, you'll see those.
Catch people doing things right and tell them. When we acknowledge the
good deeds of others, they tend to do more of them. Write a note. Send
a card. Give them a call. Praise them in front of others.
10. Spend Time with Them
We love what we give our time to. By devoting your most precious resource
(time) to another individual, you're showing them that you truly value
them and your relationship with them. Invest time in your relationships;
it's what life is made of.
Michael Angier is the founder and president of Success Networks International,
publishers of SUCCESS STRATEGIES, INSIGHT and SUCCESS DIGEST. Success
Net is an association committed to helping people to be more knowledgeable,
productive and effective. Their mission is to inform, inspire and empower
people to be their best personally and professionally. Free subscriptions,
memberships, books and SuccessMark Cards are available at http://www.successnet.org
Win-Win Way, PO Box 2048, South Burlington, Vermont 05407 802.862.0812
voice 425.933.7300 fax mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2000 Michael E. Angier, used with permission.
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