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Help Others Realize Their Full Potential

September 2, 2018

Help Others Realize Their Full PotentialThe simplest way to get someone who does not see how wonderful they are to realize their true potential is modeling and reflecting back.

You cannot make a person see themselves in any way that they are not ready to see. However, rather than getting frustrated with them or trying to manipulate them to change (which would be coming from a place of judging them unfavorably) you interact with their highest self in all situations.

You and I have heard this before but it bears hearing many times: we cannot make other people change; we can only control our own behavior. Furthermore, another person is less likely to change if they feel like we need them to change in order to find them more acceptable.

Think back on your own experiences when you may have felt that you were judged and found lacking by another person. How motivated were you to change for them? Depending on who it was you may have made an attempt but probably couldn’t sustain it because it wasn’t motivated by an internal desire for growth.

It’s hard enough to make changes to our behavior even when we want to change. Think of all the New Year’s resolutions you couldn’t sustain because it was too hard or you didn’t really, really, really, really want to make the change.

Now consider how hard it is to change because someone else wants you to. The desire and the motivation are not strong enough.

When’s the last time someone made you feel wonderful?


I recall times when another person consistently treated me with admiration and respect. I could tell in every interaction they saw something in me I didn’t quite see yet, but I wanted to. And with enough contact with these people I eventually did.

You almost can’t help it. When someone treats you that way and sees you as perfect you find yourself living up to expectations. When you see what’s possible in yourself you start to explore that uncharted territory to become more familiar with it. Eventually it is so natural to you that you wonder why you didn’t see it before.

If you want others to see themselves the way you see them (as wonderful) you must consistently reflect back to them through your words, body language, tone and behavior how wonderful they are.

Don’t be put off if they try to deny it or test you on your stance. Some people want to know for sure if you are being genuine and they will act out to see if you stay consistent. They may not even be aware they are doing this.

And some people, through their past experience, have a hard time trusting others. They may openly display their distrust of your motives and even say something to you about it. They’ve been burned and have a hard time believing anyone would be nice to them without wanting something from them.

I’ve had people become visibly upset and even openly hostile because I was being too nice to them.

Don’t let them put you off!

If you see something wonderful in another, it’s there. Keep gently reflecting it back to them. Just know they won’t change until they can see it for themselves and that they have to do it on their own.

Keep modeling for them a person who sees wonder within themselves and wonder within other people. You need to be the role model for others to see what’s possible. This situation will show up in all areas and levels of leadership: at work, at home, within friendships, volunteering and participation in other organizations you choose to join.

Just remember, others see and work to realize their full potential when they observe you seeing and realizing your own potential. It can’t work any other way.


Jodi Flynn, is an iPEC Professional Coach, founder of Women Taking the Lead podcast and author of Accomplished: How to go from Dreaming to Doing. She specializes in coaching Type-A clients to help them achieve their biggest goals with ease and live the life they have been dreaming about. For more information, visit:

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