Just by showing up in your work relationships with a caring and compassionate mindset, and devoting time to building relationships with your team, you’ll make a big difference to them.

Just doing that will inspire them.

I’m in strong agreement with – and inspired by – Diane Ackerman in the quote below, I want to live the full width of my life.

My motivation for work, and my sense of accomplishment from work has to be inspiring to grant me that.


Diane Ackerman quote I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of is as well.


Discussing the power of inspiration in a recent coaching conversation, the exec said, ‘but I’m not inspiring’.

The good news is you don’t have to be an ‘inspiring person’ to inspire others. Instead, if you understand how inspiration works, you can set others up to experience it.

As Boyatzis, Smith and Van Oosten say in their book, the heart of inspiration AND influence is helping people dream big and supporting and encouraging them to achieve their dreams.

Inspiring conversations about who we are and who we want to be make us want to develop and change, and they help us to put the effort in to do so. Granting your time to your team to help them understand who they want to be is a powerful gift.

What can you do to have more conversations that inspire? Ask big open questions about the person and their aspirations. Here are six to play with:

  • What is your personal vision for the future?
  • What is your ideal self at work?
  • What do you find most inspiring about your work?
  • In what circumstances are you at your very best at work?
  • How are you fulfilling your purpose at work?
  • What are you most hopeful about?

Don’t ask them all at once! Keep the focus positive and optimistic, don’t fall into the trap of focusing in too soon on what’s going wrong, or what’s not possible.

Start with possibility and once that’s identified and you can see the energy that’s created, then move on to work out what needs to be done to make it a reality.

Good luck!

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