When I was in second grade I was a very shy kid. The thought of sharing in front of the class was pretty scary. But I had a great teacher named Mrs. Reyer who was also a great coach. Her motto was “Yes You Can!” I’ll never forget one autumn afternoon in class. We had to stand up in front of the class and give a report about a former president.
John Adams was my subject, and suddenly I was called on to stand and deliver. Mrs. Reyer looked at me with an encouraging smile on her face and motioned for me to start. I stood straight up and with a loud voice shared about the second president of the United States.
Like a track coach during a race, Mrs. Reyer coached me to victory that day. Her encouraging gestures during my speech energized me. When I was done speaking, she said something to me that I never forgot. “John, that was a great presentation, someday you will be a great politician or public speaker.” For a seven year old kid, those words were gold. That day I experienced victory… victory over the fear of sharing in class.
Having faith in other people and helping them experience victory is the third tenet in John Maxwell’s book, Becoming a Person of Influence. John covers a lot of territory in this chapter but the one thing that stood out was that we should help others by experiencing some wins together. John explains…
“Coming alongside others to help them experience some wins with you gives them reasons to believe they will succeed. In the process they will experience victory. That’s when incredible things begin to happen in their lives.”
When People Sense Victory
- They sacrifice to succeed
- They look for ways to win
- They become energized
- They follow the game plan
- They help other teams members
When People Sense Defeat
- They give as little as possible
- They look for excuses
- They become tired
- They forsake the game plan
- They hurt others
Years ago when I first got into outside sales, I had an incredible sales manager named Gary Murphy. Making cold calls is never easy, but Gary had a great way with people. He spent a few days working with me and he helped me experience the thrill of closing a sale.
Gary had a positive attitude and always looked for a way to help his customers. His technique was win-win and more often than not we would walk out of a new prospect with a smile and an order. At the end of the day, I was energized. That energy translated to a much better attitude on my part and a large increase in sales.
When people believe in you there is an incredible power that fills you up. Suddenly the impossible becomes possible. Great coaches will help you visualize success.
John gives four action points to help us have faith in others…
1. Find a Strength. Instead of looking at weaknesses look for strengths in others. Find one that can be nurtured. Point it out to them and offer ways for them to use it. (A great book on the subject that offers an online strengths test is Strengths Finder by Tom Rath)
2. Build on Past Successes. If you have to give someone a difficult or challenging task, take time to recall their past successes. This will give them encouragement for the future and help turn a demanding situation into a positive one.
3. Help Others Overcome Defeat. If you have friends or colleagues that have recently experience a defeat of some kind take time to talk with them about it. Be a good listener and when you are done make sure you value them and let them know that you believe strongly in them.
4. Start off Right. The next time you recruit new people for your club or organization, start the relationships off right. Instead of waiting until they prove themselves, make it a point to express your faith in them before they give you results. You be pleased by their desire to live up to your expectations.
Make someone’s day today… have a little faith in them.