5 Ways To Inspire And Encourage Everyone You Work With

You have an all-star team and vision for miles–What’s missing? Bring your focus back to your people’s potential with these tips from the authors of Everything Connects.

5 Ways To Inspire And Encourage Everyone You Work With
[Image: Flickr user National Archives of Estonia]

“Nobody succeeds in a silo. Whatever we venture–personal, professional, philanthropic, political, or private–we must remember the people involved in and essential to our success,” explains Faisal Hoque.


Hoque is a serial entrepreneur, Fast Company contributor, and co-author of the new book Everything Connects along with Fast Company contributing writer Drake Baer.

The two joined us last week for a live chat about their new book, and lessons in leadership, from how to be more present to how technology is changing our worlds. A standout theme contained in their new book is our treatment of each other as humans–not just as employees, supervisors or CEOs–and the success this awareness brings.

Here are five of their ideas for connecting with the people that make business run.

1. Empower the inner visionary

Hoque and Baer used research by evolutionary psychologist Stephen Porges in finding what brings out out our boldest ideas. As inspiring as struggle seems for starving artist-types, safety–in job security, or away from jerk bosses–brings out our best, boldest ideas.

Commitment-oriented companies are proven to be successful because colleagues are treated like family, not cogs in a machine. “If we want to cultivate the visionary in others, we need to attend to the whole system surrounding them,” says Baer.


2. Leverage talents

Just as you can’t force a flower to grow on a sidewalk, you can’t tell someone to be what they aren’t when they’re in the wrong place. Categorize your organization’s needs by what kinds of talent can fill them. Hoque gives these examples:

  • Ideation roles: dream up, discover, invent, and spread ideas
  • Guiding roles: manage, navigate, oversee, and develop ideas
  • Building roles: implement, execute, and finish turning ideas into processes
  • Improving roles: expand, reduce, and tinker with existing products and processes

“As a leader we have to become curator for these talent pools,” says Hoque.

3. Encourage ambition

So you’ve curated your dream-team of visionaries–but what if they’re dreaming of their individual success, instead of the greater good? These don’t have to be disparate goals, says Baer. “The idea is that those ambitions are what create connections: when people are working together on projects they want to do, they’ll form relationships.”

4. Power innovation

Companies and individuals alike are pushed to reinvent or fizzle out faster than ever. Innovation isn’t an option anymore; it’s a requirement. “Sustained innovation is powered by people who come together to share ideas, compare observations, and brainstorm solutions to complex problems,” Hoque says.

5. Practice mindfulness

The focus on mindfulness in Everything Connects sets it apart to traditional type-A thinking. Rushing from task to task detaches us from our creative potential, the authors say–and isolates us from the people that make our endeavors possible.


“When we stop being curious, we stop being innovative, create complexity, and ultimately fail,” says Hoque. But relaxing the mind doesn’t mean moving slowly, adds Baer. “It’s about knowing what you’re doing … even that rush can be mindful.”

Read the full transcript of last week’s chat, and find out more about Everything Connects.

About the author

Freelance tech, science and culture writer. Find Sam on the Internet: @samleecole.