Jul 05

6 Remarkably Simple Ways to Inspire People

inspire people

How do you inspire other people?

“Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.”
― William Arthur Ward

When was the last time you received a round of applause?  In the office after receiving your promotion?  At your last team meeting when you were awarded employee of the month?  During your college graduation after receiving your diploma?  Whenever it was, I’m pretty sure that moment is still freshly saved in your mind because we all love the feeling of being praised and celebrated.


Apart from the sense of accomplishment and the boost in morale, being recognized for something we invested efforts on makes the victory taste much sweeter and all the more fulfilling.  It makes us realize that everything we’ve done to get to where we are was all worth it.

As a child, it brings us great joy to hear our parents say “very good!” Sometimes we even get a reward in the form of toys or food and these things were enough to make our day.  Knowing that cleaning your room and perfecting your math quiz earns you such rewards makes you want to do even better next time.  It simply brings out the best in you.  It makes you want to do more because compliment is music to our ears and of course, having the latest Superman action figure rocks because you’ll be popular among your friends for having it.

Compliment and recognition goes a long way and if you want to motivate the people around you and bring out the best in them, you need to be generous in giving praise and recognizing achievement when you see them.


Inspire people by always say thank you

One of the values my parents taught me was that of being thankful and I’ve been teaching my kids the same.  Every time someone does something good for you, always say thank you and when you do, please, mean it.  Don’t just say thank you for the sake of saying it.  Be sincere and show the person that you really appreciated what he did for you.  It may sound small and trivial but for the person who receives it, it means a lot.  These simple words do inspire people.

According to master motivator Zig Ziglar, one of the best gifts you can ever receive is a simple “thank you” and I’ve found this to be true especially if it was said on a personal level because it means you’ve made a difference in that person’s life.


Call people by their names

Having someone call us by our names gives us a feeling of significance or importance in that person’s life considering the number of people we encounter everyday.  If the boss of my boss remembers me from among hundreds of employees directly reporting to him, I would consider that an accomplishment already.  It means I made an impression that stood out enough for him to remember who I am.

So the next time the building security guard greets you good morning while you wait for the elevator, look at his ID, take note of his name, and say good morning back with his name in tow.  The simple gesture of uttering someone’s name is more than enough to inspire people.


Be generous with your compliments

We’ve all experienced great service either from the waiters from our favorite restaurant or from the people from the baggage counters of our chosen grocery stores and we’ve made these people feel our contentment by giving them bigger tips than the usual which is good but wouldn’t it be better if apart from the tip, we tell their managers or supervisors how awesome their services were?  Give a good word or praise for that employee, tell their superiors how lucky they are to have employees like them.  Compliments definitely inspire people.

When  I was working for a call center around five years back, I would often get thank you mails from satisfied customers who went out of their way to let me, the team leader, know how good my agents were in serving them.  I would like to see more of this but not in the corporate setup.  I would like to see this happen in construction sites, schools, and department stores where people are more in need of such compliments.


Give credit where credit is due

I’m a big fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, particularly its franchise player, Kevin Durant.  The guy’s skill is just freakin’ good.  He’s quick for his size, handles the ball well, and has an almost perfect shooting touch that you can count on at crunch time.  He is so good, I always have him on my team whenever I play NBA 2K.

I admired him for his skills but I admired him even more when he was selected the NBA’s most valuable player for 2014 and not because he was the greatest basketball player in the NBA this season, but because of his kind heart.  I was in tears when I saw his acceptance speech where he thanked everyone who supported him from his coaches to his team mates, and friends from outside the world of basketball.  But the most touching moment of his speech came at the last part where he recognized and thanked his mother for raising him and his brother all on her own.  They went through poverty together and his mother sacrificed everything to give them a good life and thus, toward the end of his speech, he said this line that I would never forget: “Mom, you’re the real MVP.”

Kevin Durant, on my book, gave credit where credit is due on that night.  He recognized that all his accomplishments and all his greatness wouldn’t have been possible without the person responsible for molding him into the person he is right now enough to inspire people to be more grateful.


Be an achievement-seeker not a fault-finder

Ever wonder why of all the positive contributions you’ve made to your team or group, it’s always one of your faults that get highlighted?  I do, and I’ve been thinking about this ever since I started working.  Now that I’m a leader myself and on the other side of the table, I still wonder why.

I’ve been doing my best to avoid being a fault-finder by striking a balance in giving praise and addressing faults and I made it a habit to recognize contribution, no matter how small, to change what I’ve always seen as a practice that needs to be corrected.  As leaders, we’re here to inspire people and not discourage them.


Praise in public, criticize in private

One of the responsibilities of a leader is to motivate the people reporting to him to perform better and after almost 10 years of being a leader, I’ve always made it a point to criticize in private and praise someone in public.

I have experienced being embarrassed in front of a large number of people by a former boss and that really sucked.  My confidence went down, I felt so small I thought I’d fit my pedestal and thought of hiding inside because of shame.  The experience was traumatizing and I’ve told myself that when I become a leader someday, I’ll never do that to someone else.

Embarrassing someone in front of everyone won’t bring out the best in them.  That definitely won’t inspire people.  Instead of inspiring them to perform, you will just drive them away and make them despise you.  Highlighting someone’s accomplishment for everyone to know not only inspires, it breeds loyalty too.

We all love hearing compliments from other people and I believe that we should do unto others what we want others to do unto us.  If you like being praised, do the same for other people.


Over to You

What was the best compliment you have given someone?  What was the best compliment you’ve ever received?

I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment below.


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Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions


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  1. Nelson Bett

    Have felt inspired by your kind words,am going to put in practise

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Glad it helped Nelson! Hope my blog posts will continue to motivate you to live the life you truly want.


  2. Prashant Jituri

    Wonderful! Indeed very crisp and hits where it should. Eye opener!

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Prashant! Glad you liked it. Hope it helped.


  3. Michał Wenelski

    The point is that we all should now this what has been included above. It is not something difficult and hard to understand. It is all about being a human and give something positive to people. The more you give the more you receive. Always be good for people, believe in yourself, never say sorry for the things you believe in and just be positive. Those are my points I have been following for years.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Those are great principles to go by Michal. Being positive and kind inspires people more than we’ll ever know. It makes a lot of difference in people’s lives. Thank you for stopping by Michal!

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