INSPIRING OR EXASPERATING? This morning I woke up in a lower gear than normal, contemplated writing the blog or allowing the day to go by without posting. Right in the middle of this lay low attitude, the inspiration for the blog came through. I thought I would share my thoughts and throttle up my mind.

Over the years, I have been told numerous times how inspirational and positive I am and how my messages inspire additional thoughts to a subject. At the same time, I have been applauded by my bluntness or nicely expressed, my directness. This is what the focus of this blog message is: Inspiring or Exasperating?


I found an article on how to motivate people in difficult times and I wanted to share it with you and then discuss what I personally feel of the difference of inspiration and exasperation. I think you will find this article very interesting with great advice:

How to motivate and inspire your people in difficult times

Chris Witt 
Tags: talent management

These days, if you’re a leader of any type, you can’t simply order people around and expect them to do what you want. They may follow your directions, if you are watching, but once they’re left on their own they’ll go back to doing what they think is important.

Leaders today, more than ever before, have to win people’s cooperation. And there are two main ways of doing so: motivation and inspiration. Although the two words are often used interchangeably, they actually mean quite different things – depending on what you want to achieve.

Motivation is about moving people to act in a way that achieves a specific and immediate goal. When you’re motivating people to do something they may not necessarily want to do, you have to offer them something they want in return.

When coaches give their teams a pep talk during halftime, they are using motivation. They want their players to charge back onto the field or the court with renewed energy and focus, even though they may be too tired or disheartened to try. Their reward? Victory.

Here are 4 steps to motivate your people:

Tell people exactly what you want them to do.

Motivation is all about getting people to take action, so don’t be vague. Avoid generalities like, “I want everyone to do their best.” Say, instead, “I need you to come in over the weekend so we can get this project done on time.”

1. Limit the amount of time or effort that you’re asking for.

It’s easier to ask people to work late work one night or even every night for a week than to expect them to work late indefinitely. Set an end date.

2. Share in the sacrifice.

Leaders don’t ask people to do what they themselves aren’t willing to do. Don’t tell your people to work over the weekend if you’ve got plans for a spa day. Roll up your sleeves and share the load.

3. Appeal to their emotions.

Fear focuses people’s attention and can be an effective motivator. (“If we don’t get this done right now, we’ll all lose our jobs.”) But if you keep resorting to fear, you’ll end up de-motivating people. People are also motivated by-and prefer to be motivated by-positive emotions like excitement, pride, a sense of belonging, and the thrill of achievement.

4. Give people multiple reasons for doing what you want them to do.

You can give your own reason or the organization’s reason for requesting the action. “If we don’t get this project completed on schedule, we’ll lose the contract.” But the best reason of all is always personal. It would be nice if you could give your people extra days off or even a bonus. Or, you may talk about something as intangible as the camaraderie that comes from having achieved something important together. But things being what they are these days, the best you may be able to offer is the hope that no one will lose a job.

Inspiration, on the other hand, involves changing the way people think and feel about themselves so that they want to take positive actions. It taps into people’s values and desires.

Commencement speakers – the best ones, at least – inspire their audiences. They talk about the challenges the graduates will face, either personally or collectively, and the possibilities of making a difference. Inspiration appeals to the best aspirations of people, and its underlying, often unspoken message is “You can become what you want to be.” No reward is promised, other than the reward that comes from within: the sense of personal satisfaction.

As a leader, anytime you talk about values, about identity (either the corporate identity or each person’s identity), and about long-term goals, your intent – whether you know it or not – is to inspire.

Use these 5 steps too inspire your people:

1. Be the change you want to inspire.

Your reputation, your character, your behavior will inspire people more than anything else. The only way to call the best out of others is to expect the best from yourself.

2. Tell a story.

Stories don’t tell people what to do. They engage people’s imaginations and emotions. They show people what they’re capable of becoming or of doing.

3. Appeal to people’s value system.

Ask them to act in a way that is consistent with the values they themselves profess.

4. Trust people.

When you’re inspiring people, you’re not telling them exactly what to do or giving them precise directions. You’re empowering them to be their best, trusting that they will then do the right thing. And the right thing they do may not be what you were expecting; it may be something beyond your wildest expectations.

5. Challenge them.

People aren’t inspired by doing the ordinary or by meeting expectations. They’re inspired by the exertion, creativity, and sacrifice needed to exceed what they themselves thought possible.

Motivation and inspiration are not the sole province of professional speakers and preachers. They’re tools leaders use all the time – in one-on-one conversations, in meetings and in formal presentations – to bring out the best in their people. It’s just a matter of knowing the right time and the right situation.

When there’s an immediate, short-term and specific goal that you want your people to achieve, you need to motivate them. When you want to shape people’s identity and their long-term aspirations and commitments, you need to inspire them.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the French aviator and author of “The Little Prince”, wrote, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Sometimes you need to do both. You need to enlist and organize people to do a specific task-to build a ship according to specs, on time and on budget-and sometimes you need to activate people’s desires and stand aside. Who knows, you may be surprised by what they do.

About the author:
As an executive speech coach with more than 25 years of professional experience, Chris Witt is author of the newly released book, “Real Leaders Don’t Do PowerPoint,” and founder of Witt Communications. He helps CEOs gain board approval and company-wide support for initiatives. Chris also empowers newly promoted managers and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through the power of effective speaking and presenting. In addition, he works with technical experts to simplify their presentations to win multi-million dollar contracts. For more information, call 619-295-8411 or visit www.wittcom.com.

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I found an excerpt on How Not to be Exasperating to Your Child but thought it was appropriate in our dealings with adults as well. We can get our message across in a positive light without demands and triggers for anger. Check this out:

How not to exasperate your children

Written by Wendy Kittlitz

Expectations: Be clear and consistent about what you expect from your kids.

VeX: Say what you need to say once, firmly. Carrying on about it becomes vexatious and counterproductive.

Age Appropriate: Don’t ask your child to do things that are beyond their developmental abilities.

Scare: Don’t scare your children with empty threats . . . say what you mean and mean what you say!

Positive: Positive reinforcement of good behaviour is almost always more effective than negative consequences for misbehaviour.

Embarrass: Don’t embarrass your children; correct them quietly and privately to preserve their dignity and communicate your respect.

Ride: Children need plenty of gentle reminders, warnings and cues, but don’t ride their case or they will be discouraged.

Anger: Anger spawns anger. If you discipline with anger, it will make your child angry – and then all you have is two angry people! Model control, mom and dad!

Teasing: What seems funny to you may feel like a put-down to your child. Be careful about teasing.

Encourage: Always let your child know you believe in them and want to draw out the best from them!

© 2006 Focus on the Family (Canada) Association. All rights reserved

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Bloggers thought: After considering both aspects of speaking to others, my feelings rise to the mountain top. If we allow the person we are attempting to inspire to join us mentally on the top of the mountain to observe, enjoy, and express the beauty of the surrounding environment, it is so much easier and comprehensible. In other words, bring them to the result of how it is to make better decisions or finding easier ways to climb the mountain, how to make the climb interesting, how to take the rest stops to catch their breath, and finally how to appreciate the adventure of the climb. What is the biggest reward? Sharing adventures is the ultimate inspiration with others not to criticize or exasperate their trials, but enlighten to brighten their journey. I hope you find life inspirational and your desire is to help others along their way. Live Life, Love Life, and Live Life to the fullest with inspirational thoughts and ideas.

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(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Credit for third party material including photos are sourced to original locations with links if known for reference.

Author: sippingcupsofinspiration

A blogger since 2012, a published author of three Five Star romance novels, A MISTRESS, A WIFE and TELL ME LIES; LOVE ME STILL and RIDDLE ME THIS, LOVE OR BLISS. Still a small town girl with a lot of experience of people watching. Ten years of blogging experience.


  1. I only skimmed the article part but I love your thoughts and inspiration for inspiring others. Only recently have I begun to become aware of the fact that I speak a lot in parable and metaphor. Most likely because of my love of Jesus’ teaching style, albeit not everyone who may read is well versed in the Bible which is my base of reference for inspirational material. This style fits perfectly inside a personality trait of mine according to the Myers Briggs work. I like to think I’ve gotten close at times but as of late I’m am putting much more thought into capturing imaginations, exactly what you have expressed here. My inspirational attempts are typically short as a lure to get some to read so they must be like a good one bite appetizer, appealing to the eye with awesome flavor to get the return visit. Thanks for sharing Arline.

    1. Dean, your insight is impeccable and I think you use the best reference for inspiration from the Bible. I love good one bite appetizers for appeal and a quick lure to learn more. Keep your comments coming and would you consider being a guest blogger for my blog? I love different approaches to life and guideposts for a clean, healthy, and positive living. Please let me know when and if you would share your thoughts on the blog? Thanks, Arline Miller

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