Motivating others to learn, innovate or adapt is a major driving force in our ability to engage our people and perform competitively as an organisation and even help make society a better place. As executives, teachers, physicians, nurses or parents, we want to help. But sadly, the way we typically do it has the opposite effect than desired. Trying to fix people or showing them what to do usually results in others seeing us as helping bullies.
Using an approach based on our 30 years of 39 published, behavioural longitudinal studies of development of key competencies, three fMRI neuroimaging studies and two hormonal studies, we can explain how, by invoking people’s sense of purpose and dreams of their desired future and building and maintaining resonant relationships, we can help others be open to new ideas and excited about trying new things. With this approach, which we call coaching with compassion, we can activate a person’s physiological and neurological systems to ignite engagement and excitement, bringing their full talent to address opportunities.