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Everyone wants to learn how to bring out the best in others. Whether we are a boss, a teacher, a coach, a parent, or a friend, we desire to impact and influence others to reach their full potential.

In his newest book, “Extraordinary Influence: How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others, Dr. Tim Irwin explores the power of affirmation. We want people around us to speak words of life over us.

He explains the hidden power of affirmation:

Although it is very satisfying to know deep down that we are pursuing purpose, perhaps the most personal affirmation occurs when another person acknowledges the strength of our character.

When someone of significance affirms us particularly in a deep way, certain beliefs are formed. These beliefs are stored in our core – that person living inside of us who thinks, feels, forms opinions, and quietly speaks to us. As opportunities and circumstances occur, beliefs direct our actions. Research has shown that affirmation from others whom we respect forms beliefs in our core that guide our actions.
(page 18)

Affirmation from those we respect, admire, and love profoundly changes us.

As we incorporate and utilize words of affirmation, we begin to influence others and bring out the best in them. Criticism focuses on their deficits while affirmation focuses on their abilities and achievements in a positive manner.

This is truly a wonderful book for every leader. His suggestions are practical and meaningful, kind and sincere. Our focus in leadership should be to build cohesive and healthy functioning organizations, teams, churches, and families.

The author asks a most thought provoking question: What would happen if we applied these principles of affirmation more broadly? And he brings much food for thought with his answer:

My opinion is that:

The research I referenced throughout the book is prescriptive for individuals; however, we as a society would be much more likely to flourish if we became more affirming and less critical.

(from page 176)

This book is a wonderful read for every leader but also for every individual. We all need to speak words of life over those we interact with each day. Change can begin with each one of us and words of sincere affirmation is the way we begin to turn things around.


** I received a pre-release version of this book in return for my honest review after reading it. I enjoyed this book and believe it will be helpful and appreciated by anyone.



Today I am joining … Booknificent Thursday .