Point Out the Brilliance in the People Around You

A couple of days ago a friend said something to me that made me sit up mentally. It relates to an insight I already knew. But it’s easy enough to lose track of this aha. I want to share it with you about how to point our the Brilliance in the people.

Through networking, I had met an inspirational and influential person. He is a serial entrepreneur pursuing big goals. No challenge is too big for him. His visions are all about positive impact. I love it!

As we got to know each other I shared with him my “Declaration of Brilliance”. We talked about how to scale what he’s doing. We discussed how we can build training systems based on the brilliance he and other people in his organization have.

Since that meeting, he has invited me to take part in several big projects. We have formed a great relationship, and we are up to great things. We’re going to build training portals for socially and economically disadvantaged business owners. Added to the online training are personal coaching and mentoring, and result tracking.

His Remark Struck Me

After debriefing a meeting we had with a potential sponsor, he made a remark to me that struck me.

You’re on my team because you tell people how brilliant they are.

Brilliance” is the term I use to describe the unique combination of expertise, experience, and wisdom all people have. Each person’s brilliance is unique since our lives are unique. All people are brilliant with their own unique flavor. All people have brilliance to share. All have the power to create an impact with their brilliance.

Dr. Stephie Althouse

He said nothing else. He didn’t say “because you are so smart” (although he often calls me “Doc”). He didn’t say “You are on my team because your system is so much better than somebody else’s” – although, hopefully, that is also the case.

I’m reminded of a quote by Maya Angelou:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou, American poet, author, and civil rights activist (1928–2014)

How much we know, how smart we are, what amazing capabilities we have; all of that does matter. Yet, it is not even second to how we make the people we encounter feel about themselves.

That is an amazing insight to remember. I share that with you because in our efforts to grow our businesses we often tend to point to the things we’re great at.

As it turns out it is even more important to look for and point out the brilliance in the people we speak with. Often, people are surprised. They do not see themselves as being brilliant. To me, it feels good to help someone see their own brilliance and greatness.

I invite you to look for brilliance in other people. They have brilliance I promise. It feels good to do this. And as it turns out, it is also one of the most attractive and magnetic things a person can do.

P.S.: Please like me on Facebook. Find me on LinkedIn as well. And I appreciate you sharing this with others. Thank you!


  1. Charla on at

    What a positive and inspirational blog post! We never know what we might say that could either make or break another person’s day!

    • Stephie Althouse on at

      Hi Charla, thank you for that! And yes, I agree completely. It costs us nothing to make someone’s day and all we need to do is pay a little attention.
      And as a “Brilliance Extractor” I am thinking to myself, wow, how well is this person putting their brilliance into play? And to what extend is this person making his/her brilliance immortal by passing it on in a “durable” manner… I call that making the brilliance “immortal.” 🙂

  2. It’s always good to let your clients know how important they are to you. It’s equally good to let your employees know the same. The best boss I ever had always made me feel how important I was to any project. He included me (when he really didn’t have to due to my position) in the project. He never failed to compliment me on a job well done. I would have bent over backward to make him proud and to do the best job I possibly could. Great blog, Stephie.

    • Stephie Althouse on at

      Thank you so much, Regina! Yes, praise delivered authentically makes a huge difference!

  3. Jacquelyn on at

    Even if you do not recognize someone’s brilliance, you can still acknowledge the individual with a compliment and a smile. Recognizing brilliance may take more time than you have to invest, but being appreciative and accepting takes very little time.

    • Stephie Althouse on at

      Absolutely, Jacquelyn. I agree. Fully recognizing someone’s brilliance takes a little digging. I call that Brilliance Mapping. We find out where that person’s brilliant diamonds are.

  4. Srinivas Adabala on at

    Its so amazing each individual unique in this world over centuries of people come in and go. More importantly it is testament that everyone has that brilliance. Its just a matter of time before it comes out. Fundamentally the belief needs to be there.

    • Stephie Althouse on at

      Srinivas, I agree. When we believe and recognize that we have brilliance we are one step closer to using it more intentionally. We are also one step closer to passing on this brilliance and preserving it for future use.

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