Whether we are life coaches, managers, mothers, fathers or friends we often want to “empower” others. Individuals may grow up not being acknowledged, complimented or celebrated which results in their inability to hear, receive or believe positive feedback and compliments.
In this blog I will discuss 7 skills that can be used to help empower and strengthen others. You can use these same skills to empower yourself.
1. Focus, acknowledge and compliment strengths. Most of us are guilty of focusing others’ weaknesses or perceived failures instead of their strengths. Help the other person by focus on what they are doing correctly. Ask them what things are going well for them? Ask them what they feel they have done well in the pas week or month? Help them remember and celebrate their “wins.” Ask if they helped someone to achieve a positive result? Were they “there” when a friend needed someone to have their back? Ask them to remember achievements and strengths.
At work, if you are the manager, be sure to acknowledge (and if possible in front of coworkers) when your employee has done something well. Compliment effort. Compliment intention to provide value. Compliment them on their commitment and loyalty. Compliment them on creativity. Encouragement and compliments go a long way. Everyone has something you can compliment them for.
When people feel empowered, validated, confident and valuable it is much easier for them to review, admit and work on areas of challenge.
2. Standing for Another – being an advocate. There is no more powerful way to empower a person than ‘standing with’ them or ‘standing for’ them and their possibilities they wish to create.
When we stand for another, we remind them of their stated goals and their power to achieve them. Standing “for” another can give them a renewed energy and focus to move forward with power toward their goals, a more fulfilling life and toward achieving their full potential. We stand for them, being their advocate when they have temporarily lost their focus.
3. Reframing. Everyone has a “story,” Everyone constructs “stories” everyday that help them makes sense out of interactions and behaviors. In our attempt to synthesize and understand the world and relationships around us we construct these stories and attach our perceived meaning of the story. In essence, we are meaning-making-machines and story-tellers. The art of reframing is the interjection of a different point of view or possibility.
When we can “move” someone into a place of trying on new possibilities, we open a whole world of opportunity for them. The best way to help someone reframe an event is to ASK QUESTIONS, not give your opinions or viewpoints about what happened. Installing new positively charged language for the old language helps us change-up the story we are telling ourselves.
Reframing involves changing the context, behavior or motivation of the story. For instance, in NLP we often ask clients who are remembering (or recounting) a stressful situation with an angry person to try to image that person talking with a cartoon characters voice. By doing this it takes the emotional charge out of the story and the person can then deal more with the facts of what happened than the emotions.
Reframing is about seeing something differently and putting a new spin on it; taking a negative and putting it into a positive frame. Reframes are compelling and powerful.
4. Don’t make others wrong. When we make others wrong we judge them… they shrink, run, and resist. We are left holding an emotional bag of upset, anger and defensiveness. Over and over again in my coaching practice, I hear people say, “my husband SHOULD,” “they NEED TO,” “They MUST …”
We all think we know what is best for another (a child, a family member, friend or coworker). “If they would only listen to me,” is a common mantra. The real truth is that we are not “tasked” with making another person’s life “work.” We DO NOT KNOW what is best for them, what the best course or path for them is, we do not know what music or possibility they have inside of them, nor do we know what their purpose or mission in life is. When we “think” we do, we are attempting to ‘control’ another. Control is not helpful or loving.
In life coaching, one of the very presuppositions is that every person holds their own keys to answers and success in their lives. No one else has their keys and answers… just them. The coaches responsibility is to help the client discover and bring forth their answers. Wouldn’t it be great if parents and managers and friends could help those close to them also bring forth “what is inside” of the other?
In NLP there is a presupposition that states, “that everyone is always doing their best with the resources and to them.” This is a powerful presupposition. It is not necessarily a truth, but a presupposition. If we could suppose that this is true, what becomes available to us and to them? If we could believe that everyone is always doing their best what becomes possible for us and for them?
5. Possibility thinking – bridging the gap. Possibility thinking is what helps us bridge the gap from where we are now and where we want to be. Being in the middle of the gap can be frustrating, perhaps even disabling. We can know where we want to go, but have no clue how to jump to the other side. People you know and interact with daily are stuck in the middle of that gap, too. People are often stuck in patterns of behavior and ways of being that were once fine and served them well, but are now constraining and hindering.
Very often a “pattern interrupt” is what is required to break the habit of thinking the way we have always been thinking, to think and create something new.
If you drive to work using one path each day, mix it up. If you always have the same morning routing, mix it up. If you have the same process or procedures at work, be willing to ask staff how it can be mixed up and made better. Be willing to try and explore new and even crazy ideas.
Breaking patterns, ways of thinking and ways of being give you the creative space to launch new possibilities.
CONTACT US | Embrace Your Brilliance and Change Your Life
Rhonda Robbins, speaker, teacher, certified life coach and NLP practitioner has been providing transformational life changing services and personality training to hundreds of individuals, businesses and groups for over ten years. Rhonda owns and operates, Embrace Your Brilliance, and is available for one-on-one coaching sessions in person, on the phone, via Skype, Google Talk, Google+ Hangout or Yahoo Video Call. You can call me directly at 480-343-8700 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time for a session, or to ask a question.
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