Do you see people as they are capable of ‘becoming’ or as they currently are? Great leaders, teachers, parents, coaches, etc., make it a habit of focusing and affirming the best in others.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe taught, “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”
I was a rambunctious and strong-willed child. My mother was concerned and would discipline me when needed. However, her primary focus was to help shape my self-image in a positive way. In my case, when I was ages 3-6, she did this by regularly calling me, “ angel child” – especially when I had pushed too many buttons.
In a soft and patient voice, my mother would say, “angel child, let’s not tease your brothers.” Or, ”We don’t behave like that – angel child.“ ”Do you think that’s how an angel would speak?“ I believe it was phrases like these that helped shape me. She unconsciously gave me a vision to strive for.
For this to work, you must have clear expectations and rules in place. There must be an understanding of shared values and goals. Once those elements are in place, your primary job is to inspire through vision – a vision of a better future.
Am I suggesting this will work for everybody as it did me? Of course not. But what I do know is, "whatever we focus on, energy goes, and where energy goes, things grow.” I promise you that if you make a choice to see people regarding their “potential" versus their current behavior, performance will improve.
About TJ Hoisington:
TJ Hoisington is the bestselling author of “If You Think You Can!” and “The Secret of the Slight Edge.” He has authored other books and training programs on peak performance, personal development, and leadership. As a motivation speaker and organizational performance expert, TJ Hoisington has been invited speak to audiences of 10 executives or 15,000 people. TJ's mission is to provide inspiration and tools that empower people and organizations achieve their goals by unleashing the greatness within. TJ Hoisington is the co-founder of Dunn Hoisington Leadership International.