10 Ways To Support Someone In Being Their Best
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
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
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
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.
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 being combative.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Karen Scharf is a member of SuccessNet.org, an on-line community dedicated to
helping you become your personal and professional best. You can download the
FREE eBook "How to Form Your Own Success Team" at http://www.successnet.org/teams.htm
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