How You Make People Feel About Their Contribution
The poet Maya Angelou said something every leader should commit to memory: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The wisdom of those words rings true to common experience. How others make us feel is etched deeply into the psyche and burnished into memory.
Making others feel good about themselves, who they are, and what they stand for is a pillar from which to build a strong leadership foundation. But the best leaders go one step further. They take the idea of how people feel and apply it directly to what it means to be a member of the team.
Team members who know others believe they are making an important contribution to shared success feel valued. When they learn directly from the leader that their contribution is both significant and appreciated, they feel vital. And this feeling endures.
When team members feel their work is essential to team success, they become more responsible and accountable for the problems inherent in achieving everyday tasks. The knowledge they are contributing makes them want to do even more.
Good leaders make a point of telling others when they are creating a real difference. By doing so, these leaders inject them with the energy to improve their skills and achieve the excellence they are capable of. Making others feel important takes on a different shade when leaders highlight the indispensable contribution team members are making.
This doesn’t happen nearly often enough to create the feelings team members crave.
What are you waiting for?
It’s so important that you don’t wait for an annual review.
This is an in the moment thank you, this is what you contributed towards achieving.
And let’s not save the idea of sincerely acknowledging people just for within the walls of our organizations - A great leader makes this a way of being in their world by acknowledging people within the organization, their communities, and their home.
Research by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Sciences Research Grant (KAKENHI) show that people perform better after receiving a compliment.
More engaged and better performing people - build a better world.