How to Inspire Others... or Daring to Do - Master Coach Barbara Hofmeister

How to Inspire People to Do What You Want

Nobody enjoys being tricked, so you don’t want to use anything you learn in this post for evil purposes! This is about creating a positive experience for both parties involved. To demonstrate, we will use one scenario as an example: getting a friend (or whomever) to join you on an activity and love to do and have a good time. You can repurpose the same techniques for other situations. Just follow these 2two.


Convince a friend to join you in an activity they did not know they could enjoy 🙂

It’s much more fun when you have someone with whom you can share an activity. The problem is, you may love a challenge like high rope courses but might have a hard time selling your friends on the joys and empowerment it can provide. Fortunately, most people can come around under the right circumstances. You probably thought you’d absolutely hate the hard rock festival your friend dragged you to last year but, as things turned out, you’re going back this year. See, what we end up liking is often a matter of circumstance and the people we are with.

So, first things first, and that is to get your friend to go with you. Rather than trying to convince them, which is likely to call up some valid reasons why they would not enjoy it, ask them to join you as a favor because you can’t do it alone. As already Ben Franklin discovered, doing something nice for another person can get you to like them more.  Isn’t that interesting?

Franklin set out to turn a hater into a fan, but he wanted to do it without “paying any servile respect to him.” Franklin’s known passion for collecting books and as a library founder gave him a reputation of a man of discerning literary tastes, so Franklin sent a letter to the hater asking if he could borrow a selection from  his library, one which was a “very scarce and curious book.” The rival felt flattered and sent it to him right away. Franklin sent it back a week later with a thank you note. Mission accomplished.

This works because we respond to two things here. 1) the flattery and 2) to beeing needed. If your friend sees this activity as a favor to you, they’ll feel better about it than if you would be trying to drag them along.


Make your friend have fun

How can you ensure your friend will enjoy the activity? You can’t, but you can increase the odds. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can do just that.

Handle Challenges Together

First, it can help if there’s anything remotely challenging about that activity. If there is, doing it with them can become a great bonding experience. Even if they didn’t enjoy the activity, they’ll look back on it fondly, later, because it brought you both closer together.

Choose a Familiar and Comfortable Environment

It can help if the activity will surround the person with familiar things and the kinds of people they like. While we like to believe we’re open to new possibilities and respect the differences in others, we really don’t. If you want to get someone to like something different, it helps if you can make them feel comfortable in as many other ways as possible.

Boost Your Friend’s Mood

Finally, get them in a good mood beforehand by showing your enthusiasm and excitement for the activity. Making them laugh is a great option to loosen them up. Frequent smiling can do the trick too. Next time you see someone smile at you, notice how you’re probably smiling in return. It’s hard not to mirror happy expressions because it usually happens without our full awareness. Little things like smiling and humor can go a long way, even when they’re completely unrelated to the given activity. When I am on a high ropes course, I am not always in the mood for a joke or even for encouragement. Once they are with you, relax and show how much you are enjoying their company during the activity.

Reward Your Friend’s Competency with Compliments

And don’t forget the compliments. If the given activity requires your buddy to do or create anything, let them know you think they’re doing a great job. People tend to like things more when their efforts are rewarded. You don’t want to lie, but something like “wow, you’re much braver than I was the first time” or “You are picking this up quicker than expected” can make a big difference in your friend’s perception of the activity.

Have fun while watching me daring to jump off a tiny platform high above the desert near Las Vegas. Some friends cajoled me into zip-lining from about 50 feet up. Jumping into “nothingness” is a scary feeling but once you dare to do it, you feel like you can do anything.