It is a simple fact that people are rarely inspired by those whom they do not like. Being liked, or at least being respected is fundamental to being able to inspire those with whom you work. Even a love/hate relationship can work for aspiring leaders, always provided that there is an element of respect mixed in with the hatred.
So, how do you get people to like you?
Lord Chesterfield put it very succinctly when he said: “Make every person like himself a little better and I promise that he or she will like you very much indeed.”
To continue with his lordship’s theme it is a simple matter of taking an interest in people. A good way to achieve this is by asking them questions about themselves, their likes, dislikes so that you build up a dossier on the individual. You then have a comfortable opening gambit whenever you meet – just start each new conversation with a question or statement about the topic that you know is of personal interest to the other person.
But just talking about a subject that you know to be of interest to the person you want to get to like you does not necessarily make them like themselves “a little better.” You have to take the conversation a little further to get them to like themselves. A good way to do this is by giving them praise in the area in which they are interested.
For instance if you know the other person to be interested in photography you can praise one of their photos. Or if they play tennis you can congratulate them on a recent victory. Or, best of all, if they have recently completed an exceptional piece of work, congratulate them on that.
People are inspired by their successes and even more so when others recognise their successes. You have to know someone to know which successes are important to them.
The first step in being an inspiring leader is to get to know the people you want to inspire.