As leaders, small-business owners often must inspire their team, customers and vendors in order to accomplish their company’s goals. People will likely follow others that can motivate them to achieve goals beyond what they might accomplish on their own.
Here are some effective ways to help you be more inspirational.
1. Make permanent connections.
Whether they meet online or in person, inspirational people can make these connections come alive. They remember who they were introduced to and details about their lives. Inspirational people reach out periodically to others to see how they're doing and what they can do to help. This is not a time where they try to sell something, but only to be helpful. This could be as simple as to say, “how are you doing?” or send a helpful piece of advice. This can also be “liking” or commenting on their post of Facebook or retweeting something.
The message is simple: “I care and thought about you today.” It may make that person feel important, which can help reinforce the connection.
2. Bring other people together.
I will never forget when I would see Chris Brogan at events, as he was talking to someone else. When it was my turn to talk to Chris, the first thing he would do after the greeting was to introduce me to the person he was with. Through him, I was always able to make new connections.
Inspirational people always try to bring together people who have common interests. This can not only strengthen their own network, but help expand it.
3. Believe people are good.
Business is competitive, and many players may act out of their own self-interest. But inspirational people believe that, when given a choice, most people are good and will see their actions in the context of the larger community. This can be a more positive starting point than the alternative: being paranoid that they'll always get hurt in the end.
4. Welcome people who disagree.
Inspirational people can consistently invite different points of view. They actually listen and understand why others might disagree. Inspirational people typically don't spend a lot of time trying to convince everyone that they're right. They know that the best outcomes typically start with discussions.
5. Dedicate yourself to a cause.
Inspirational people tend to be on their own authentic path. They may not be deterred by popular opinions and are comfortable in their beliefs. As Simon Sinek proposes, they can communicate their “why.” All their actions can reflect their desire to achieve that goal.
6. Act fearlessly, even when afraid.
In small business, it may be natural to have a fear of actions that can produce unknown outcomes. Inspirational people may still be scared, but they move forward with actions anyway. They tend to be calm in any storm. They take small steps, evaluate the outcome and then plan future actions.
7. Give back to the community.
Inspirational people know they're not alone on this world. They give to their community even though they may not personally profit from it. They also know that a strong community makes each person in it more successful over the long term.
8. Show gratitude.
Inspirational people don’t brag about their achievements. Their focus doesn't get consumed by what they do not have or have not yet done. Instead, they show empathy and gratitude for others and are able to celebrate their successes even if they have failed at theirs.
9. Tell a good story.
Inspirational people are typically good storytellers. They are able to take true stories from their life and turn them into motivational messages that have a redeeming lesson.
10. Be responsive and dependable.
Inspirational people are there for others when it matters. In this 24/7 world with so many forms of communication, they are always able to respond when they're most needed. This happens because of their desire to help and their decision to prioritize responsiveness above other activities.
Read more articles about leadership skills.