HAVE YOU TRIED TO CONVINCE SOMEONE TO CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR OR ATTITUDE BY CONSTANTLY PREACHING TO THEM? Maybe you’ve told your friend to stop smoking or your sibling to stop procrastinating, but they won’t listen. There’s a better way to inspire change in others, which involves setting an example.


Why Preaching Doesn’t Work

When we preach to others, we tell them what they’re doing wrong and what they must do to improve. This can be helpful in some cases, but it often comes across as judgmental and condescending. Here are some reasons why preaching doesn’t work:

  • People don’t like being told what to do. When we preach to others, we try to control their behavior. This can create resentment and resistance, making it less likely that they’ll change.
  • When we preach to others, we’re often just talking the talk without walking the walk. Words can be empty. It’s easy to say you will do something, but following through is much more challenging. 
  • People learn by example. We’re more likely to adopt behaviors and attitudes we see in others rather than just hearing about them. We’re not giving them a real-life example when we preach to others.


The Power of Leading by Example

If you want to inspire change in others, the best approach is to lead by example. This means showing others what’s possible through your actions and behavior. Here are some reasons why leading by example is so effective:

  • Actions speak louder than words. When you demonstrate the behaviors and attitudes you want others to adopt, it sends a powerful message. It shows that you’re not just talking the talk but that you’re actually living it.
  • It’s more inspiring. When we see others achieving things that we want for ourselves, it can be incredibly motivating. When you lead by example, you give others a concrete vision of what’s possible.
  • It creates a positive ripple effect. When you change your behavior, it can inspire others to do the same. This can create a positive ripple effect that spreads far beyond just one person.


How to Lead by Example

Leading by example sounds simple enough, but it can be challenging. Here are some tips for setting an example and inspiring change in others:

  1. Be the change you want to see. Identify the behavior or attitude you want to change in others, and focus on embodying that change yourself. For example, if you want others to be more positive, consciously focus on the good in every situation.
  2. Share your successes and struggles. Being transparent about your journey is essential when trying to change your behavior. Share your achievements and work with others, so they can see that change is possible but challenging.
  3. Don’t judge others. When trying to lead by example, avoiding feeling others for their behavior is essential. Instead, focus on your actions and behavior, and let others draw their own conclusions.
  4. Encourage and support others. When you see others progressing towards the desired change, encourage and keep them. This will help them stay motivated and inspired.
  5. Keep it up. Leading by example isn’t a one-time thing. It requires ongoing effort and commitment. Keep working on your behavior and attitudes, and continue to inspire others through your actions.


Overcoming Resistance to Change

Resistance is one of the biggest obstacles to inspiring change in others. People often have deeply ingrained habits and beliefs that they’re unwilling to give up easily. When faced with opposition, it’s essential to be patient and persistent. Here are some strategies for overcoming resistance to change:

  • Start small: Sometimes, it’s easier to make small changes that gradually build up to bigger ones. Encourage the person to make small changes that align with the behavior you want to see in them.
  • Find common ground: Look for areas of agreement and focus on those. This can help build trust and understanding between you and the other person.
  • Provide support: Change can be difficult, but having a support system can make it easier. Offer your support and encouragement, and help the person stay accountable to their goals.


Leading by Example in the Workplace

Leading by example isn’t just important in personal relationships and crucial in the workplace. As a leader, you can inspire and motivate your employees through your actions. Here are some ways to lead by example in the workplace:

  • Set clear expectations: Ensure your employees understand what’s expected of them and what success looks like. This can help them stay motivated and focused.
  • Communicate openly: Be transparent and honest with your employees. This can help build trust and a sense of camaraderie.
  • Be respectful: Treat your employees with respect and dignity, even in challenging situations. This can help create a positive and supportive workplace culture.
  • Emphasize collaboration: Encourage collaboration and teamwork, and model these behaviors yourself. This can help create a sense of shared purpose and accomplishment.


The Power of Community

Finally, when it comes to inspiring change, the power of the community should be considered. It can be simpler to stay inspired and motivated if we surround ourselves with people who share our goals and values. Here are some strategies for utilizing community power:

  • Join a group or organization: Whether it’s a support group, a professional organization, or a community service group, joining a group of like-minded individuals can help you stay motivated and inspired.
  • Create your community: If you can’t find a group that aligns with your goals and values, consider starting your own. Connecting this way with people who share your interests and passions can be very beneficial.
  • Use social media: Social media can be a powerful tool for building community and connecting with others. Join online groups or start your own, and use social media to share your progress and inspire others.

By tapping into the power of community, we can create a sense of shared purpose and accountability to help us achieve our goals and inspire change in others.



Remember that actions speak louder than words if you want to inspire change in others. Instead of preaching to others, lead by example and let your behavior do the talking. Embodying the change, you wish to see in others will inspire and motivate them to follow your lead. You can improve the lives of others by simply being the change you want to see in the world, whether that means giving up smoking, being more optimistic, or working harder.

But remember, leading by example doesn’t mean you can’t speak up when necessary. If you see someone doing something terrible or hurtful, you must do something about it. However, rather than preaching to that person, try to talk calmly and honestly about why their behavior is concerning and how they could make positive changes. And if they’re not ready to listen, it’s okay to step back and focus on your behavior.

Remember to be patient, persistent, and supportive and to tap into the power of community whenever possible. With these strategies, you can make a difference in the lives of those around you and create positive change in the world.

Ultimately, we all can inspire change in others through our actions. By leading by example and setting a positive and inspiring tone, we can make a difference in the lives of those around us. So, the next time you want to inspire change in someone else, remember to shut up and show them the way through your actions.