Saturday, September 19, 2009

10 Ways To Support Someone

Ostrich Ferns ©2009 Terry Gorley

Ten Ways to Support Someone in Being Their BestBy 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 you say and do, you're influencing--positively or negatively--the people you care about. Here are ten ways you can help others see and realize the best that's within them.

Believe in ThemWe 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.

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 you'll do even better this time."

Expect a LotWe'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 you influence is by your own actions. Who you are speaks much more loudly than what you 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 reliability 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.

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 them-selves better, to get clear on what the issue is and from there to make better choices. You can do the same. By asking elegant questions, you cause people to think and come up with solutions.

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 you truly value them and your relationship with them. Invest time in your relationships; it's what life is made of.

Michael Angier, founder of Success Net,
recently released the New SuccessNet Resource Book--the Top Must-Have Tools, Products, Services and Resources for Running Your Business Effectively

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