How to inspire others

When was the last time you spoke with someone you found truly inspiring? While it is tempting to relegate “inspiration” to the purview of inspirational speakers, the reality is that inspiration and awe play underappreciated roles in our day-to-day lives. Our professional lives are no exception, and whether or not we experience wonder on the job can make the difference between a fulfilling career and daily drudgery.

If you have ever worked under a supervisor who does not know how to inspire others, you likely understand the difference inspiring employees (instead of punishing them) makes for morale and productivity.

The same applies in many areas of life, from inspiring others to give back to inspiring a sports team to greatness to achieving any goal you set. Hear the key to how to inspire your team – whether on the court or in the office – directly from Tony.

Take the first step to build inspiration in the workplace

Leadership identity quiz

1. Recognize the signs of employee unhappiness

Creating raving fan employees must be a top priority of any business owner who wants to inspire workplace participation and growth. Bad employee morale can cost the company money and negatively affect the company culture. Before asking how to inspire others, ask yourself if you see any of the following signs of employee disengagement or unhappiness.

High turnover

If many employees are leaving, that’s a big sign they’re unhappy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all about pay or benefits. Conduct exit interviews and really listen to what employees are saying.

Drop in productivity

If their heart is no longer in their work, you’ll be able to tell. Inspired employees get their work done and excitedly ask for more.

Lack of participation

Not everyone is into company happy hours and activities, but if your employees seem more disengaged than usual, it’s a sign to dig deeper.

2. Ask the right questions

Remember that a business is only as strong as the psychology of its leader. Could the problem be you? This is a difficult question to ask yourself, but if you really want to gauge if you know how to inspire people, you need to ask yourself if your team thinks – better yet, knows – you understand how to inspire employees to do their best. If the answer is “no,” you’re in the right place for learning these skills.

Also ensure you’re not using the issue of employee inspiration as a way to avoid an unrelated problem. Honestly assess your company and ask: Am I asking this in order to avoid a deeper question, like how to manage my business’ finances? If there is a potentially catastrophic issue looming (or festering) for your business that is unrelated to morale, you must address that issue first before addressing how to inspire people.

leaders inspiring employees

3. Reveal what employees really want

teaching how to inspire people

When thinking about how to inspire your team, many managers’ and leaders’ minds will go straight to material goods or money, like raises and bonuses. While it’s true you need to pay a wage on the higher side to retain employees, be aware that it often isn’t all about money for today’s employee. Modern workers want professional development, flexible schedules and strong benefits.

Be honest with yourself in considering not just what inspires you, but what you’ve seen inspire friends, family and other business partners. When you look outside of yourself and into what your peers and competitors have encountered, you’ll likely discover the issues your company needs to address to create a more inspirational company culture.

4. Use the power of leverage

Now that you know how to inspire employees to do their best, you can use that as leverage to subtly change their behavior. This is one skill that distinguishes great leaders from mediocre ones. The reasoning is straightforward: Since every person on Earth is influenced by his or her thoughts, feelings and behaviors, true leaders make skillful use of those “pressure points,” or leverage, to influence others’ behaviors.

For example, leaders exercise soft skills (like empathy) to enhance engagement, since empathy facilitates the trust necessary to inspire others. Conversely, hard skills (like hunger and drive) are useful for inspiring by way of example. Employees are likely to be most inspired by leaders who are simultaneously empathetic and driven toward building a successful business.

5. Practice communication skills

At its root, organizing your business around how to inspire others boils down to communication. That is, in order to master how to inspire people, you must first understand what already inspires them. Understanding what makes people tick is one of the most fundamental components of both empathy and effective communication.

As you build relationships, you’ll find that your communication skills will also improve, since you’ll be forced to pause and consider your staff’s perspective in day-to-day correspondence. You’ll also become skillful at steering workplace meetings so that, while inspiring employees, you’re also accomplishing the goals you’ve set for the meeting.

6. Learn the seven steps to create lasting change

In your search to discover how to inspire others, you’ll need not only information but also practical strategies. Tony Robbins’ philosophy details just that: The seven steps to creating lasting change through effective leadership skills includes recognizing human behavior, the mind-body-emotions triad, basic human needs and the role of limiting beliefs.

Tony goes over these powerful steps at many of his events. They’re essential not only to inspire workplace change, but to permanently transform any area of your life. You’ll erase bad habits and replace them with new ones, while you do the same for your employees, ultimately building a strong and productive team.

create lasting change tony robbins

7. Lead by example – and set high goals

learning how to inspire others

As a business owner, in order to master how to inspire others, you must lead by example. This means demonstrating the courage to act, remaining persistent yet flexible and practicing authenticity in everything you do. You must also make every effort to avoid micromanaging so that your staff can rise to their full potential.

Rather than set a standard of “good enough,” be sure to set a standard of “exceptional” through the expectations you set for your business. Without making unreasonable or uncompensated demands of staff time, set high standards for what your team must accomplish. Meanwhile, remain open to staff feedback as you learn how to inspire others. As you lead by example, you’ll find that you become increasingly adept at inspiring those around you.

8. Master empathy

The rules of public speaking apply to running a business. Instead of assuming you know what your audience already knows and wants, utilize empathy and deep listening to discover your audience’s wants and needs (even when they are your employees).

By considering your listener’s perspective, you’ll discover their point-of-view while also easing your own anxieties. With practice, you’ll learn that showing empathy is one of the most powerful tools in mastering how to inspire others in business and your personal relationships.

gratitude in business

9. Focus on relationships

As self-sufficient as the Navy SEALS are, even they depend on relationships with other governmental counterparts to be successful. Instead of forcing, coercing or shaming someone into a certain behavior, be like the SEALS and focus on building quality relationships. Without a solid foundation of trust, it’s impossible for someone you want to inspire to feel comfortable around you.

Approach this person from a point of curiosity about their interests. From here, you’re better able to find areas of cohesion to form goals. When both parties enjoy a relationship and benefit from their collaboration, this forms the basis of understanding how to inspire others

10. Embrace the process

As important as it is to achieve goals in work and life, focusing solely on the outcomes you want is not an effective way to inspire others. When you’re exclusively goal-oriented, you lose that personal touch that endears others to your cause.

Instead, realize that collaboration is a creative process. Your goal is to appreciate everyone’s leadership style, whether it’s artistic, managerial or entrepreneurial. When you’re demonstrating mutual respect for all involved, the process of collaborating becomes a source of inspiration in and of itself. 

Learn how to inspire others

Instead of wondering how to inspire others, develop a skill set for inspiring employees centered on your own leadership identity. Discover your business identity by taking Tony Robbins’ Leadership Identity Quiz.