Everyone wants and needs to feel worthwhile. They need to feel as if they somehow matter.
Of course, everyone does matter. Everyone is significant. Everyone is special and brings value into the world. The problem is, sometimes we forget just how significant we are.
The world at times beats us up. We work and live around people who may sometimes take us for granted. Worse, they may sometimes tell us that we are insignificant, that we don’t matter. They may try to bring us down, they may injure our morale as a way of making themselves feel superior.
They make our little shortcomings seem insurmountable and treat us as a failure.
As a leader you must realize that your people live in the same world you do. You should take steps to ensure your people’s need for significance is fed. You must go out of your way to make certain they know that they matter and because they may have doubts, you must tell them why they matter.
Telling them that they matter is good, showing them that they matter is better. As a leader I’d bet that you would be quick to say that your people are your organization’s greatest asset.
When was the last time you went further then just saying it and actually showed it?
Leaders get busy and they forget the absolute importance of engaged team members. They get busy and figure that their people “just know” how important they are. Even people who have high self-confidence need to hear they are valuable once in a while. They need confirmation that other people see their value and significance. They need to know, without a doubt, that they are not being taken for granted.
Authentic leaders are intentional in feeding their team members’ need for significance. They are careful to never go too long without verbalizing how important each individual is to the organization. They periodically put that importance on display so everyone can see their individual significance.
What have you, as an authentic leader, done recently to ensure your people have no doubts about their value? The key word in that question is “recently;” your kind words in 2011 hold no water today.
Helping your people feel worthwhile is an ongoing and unending process. If you’ve fallen short in this vital aspect of leadership then the sooner you start the better!