If you lead people then you undoubtedly know that people matter. What you may not know is how much they need to know that you know they matter. We humans need to know we matter almost as much as we need air to breath. If we don’t see, without a doubt that we matter then doubt is what we will do. We’ll wonder if we really do matter…to anyone.
You can tell people everyday that they matter and still leave some doubt. If you really want them to know that you know they matter then don’t just tell them, show them.
Showing that someone matters doesn’t take one bit of extra effort, it merely requires a little thoughtfulness and effort that you should already be putting forth.
It’s unlikely that any true leader would intentionally tell their people that they don’t matter, but it happens unintentionally all too often.
For instance, nothing says “you don’t matter” more than picking up a call or texting while you’re talking with someone else. You know how you feel when someone does that to you…well guess what, most everybody feels that way too. Ignore your cell phone or put it away completely. If you absolutely have to take a call, apologize, explain why and make it quick.
Be present with whoever it is you’re talking with. Make them feel as if they are the most important person in your world, because in that very moment, they actually are.
Never forget the value of appreciation. Think about a time when you did something nice for someone and they never even acknowledged it with a simple thanks. There are many many times during an average day to recognize someone with a thank you. Many leaders actually think it’s a sign of weakness to thank a person who works for them. It is not, as a matter of fact, Authentic Servant Leaders seldom miss an opportunity to show their appreciation for a job well done. Don’t overlook the power of those two words and how they recognize a person.
Honor every commitment. Everybody knows undependable people. They say they will meet us and they never show. They are constantly canceling lunch plans at the last minute or not confirming their plans to attend until the very last second. The message they send is that their schedule is far more important than yours. If that by chance describes you then you need to change that habit. Show the other person they matter by honoring all commitments that you make in the time frame that you make them. Doing anything else is telling the person that they don’t truly matter.
You will never meet a person who doesn’t matter. It takes only a little forethought to let them know that you know, without a doubt, that they matter to you.
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