Behavior is typically achieved by manipulation or inspiration. There are those that manipulate and those that inspire. Inspiration comes through our words, actions, and our potential to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Manipulation is to handle or control someone in a clever or unscrupulous way. The key aspect is to inspire someone takes an “it’s not about me, it’s about something bigger than me” motive. And manipulation is typically firmly rooted in selfish inward fulfilling desires. We can all think of the manipulators out there, those that put a little touch of words or actions into a situation, a text, or conversation to get what they want out of you. Sometimes it is very invisible and intangible for us making it almost unknown for us or very difficult to feel the manipulation.
The key is realizing that we were all taught to be manipulators from birth on. Our very first manipulation occurred within a few days to weeks of our very existence on this planet. And it was one simple method. It occurred through crying for a bottle. We may have been hungry but the external stimuli to get what we wanted was for us to cry to get our parent’s attention. It is every single person on the planet’s first manipulation, and it gets validated every time. And our twins were extremely good at it given the level of colic they both had!!
Manipulation is rooted in selfish desires and inspiration is rooted in love. Which is it that you have? Which is it that you have in every situation? The goal or action item for this post is to get you to think about each and every interaction in which you are wanting someone to move in a certain direction or perform a certain action. And as you think about it, is it rooted with selfish inward looking desires, or is it rooted in love or something much bigger than yourself or for their greater overall good.
Fear-based manipulation or leadership is often very effective but is not rational or received well by others. If we inspire someone to do something or behave in a certain way, it is received much more positive and is typically longer lasting. Inspiration or manipulation typically begins with words and words are very powerful. Words create worlds. Words determine directions. Words invite resistance or open hearts. Words convince or deceive. Words cut or heal. Words make work difficult or enjoyable. Words either inspire or discourage. What will your words be today? Will they inspire or will they be used to manipulate.
Inspiration creates trust, manipulation creates distrust. As leaders, teachers, parents, coaches, grandparents, friends, and coworkers, we must inspire trust, and be worthy of that trust, and must trust each other. Inspiration comes through providing a picture of what outcomes should look like in high definition, and through discipline and boundaries. Provide the HD picture, choose your words wisely, and create a trust that inspires greatness in those you influence. That ignites their soul on fire to be the 100% version of themselves and not the 80% version of themselves. No one was placed on this planet to be the 80% version of themselves! You didn’t come this far, to come this far! Go further!