I have a challenge for you: Starting today, stop trying to make others feel valuable. Now that challenge could go several different directions, so let me add the emphasis: stop trying to make others feel valued.
Instead, know that others are valued.
Feels completely different doesn’t it?
One of my favorite quotes came from one of my first mentors, Zig Ziglar. Zig taught me that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Before people buy into others, before they give their discretionary effort, before they become completely engaged, they want to know the person leading them has their best interests at heart. Leaders who use ego, force and manipulation to motivate will never reach their full potential. Leaders who genuinely care about those they are leading will.
[bctt tweet=”Leaders who use ego, force & manipulation to motivate will never reach full potential. Leaders who genuinely care will.”]
People know you care when you take the time to:
- Connect with them. Finding common ground is the easiest way to connect. You can find common ground with anyone (yes, you can!). The easiest way to do that is to ask questions: ask about their family, ask about their job or where they work, ask what they do for fun. Then listen to the answers and look for the common ground. Keep asking until you find it. When you get really good at asking questions, and you genuinely care about the answers, I guarantee you’ll find something in common with everyone you meet.
- Don’t judge Meet enough people and you’re bound to find someone who doesn’t see things the way you do. Rather than judging them, learn to get curious about why they have a different viewpoint. Maybe it’s their past experience, maybe it’s where they come from, or maybe it’s a different interpretation of the situation. Learn to develop a habit of loving, appreciating and respecting people for their different backgrounds and different viewpoints.
- Add value. Practice adding value to others. You add value to those below you when you help develop them, you add value to those beside you when you fill in their gaps and you add value to those above you when you help get others on board with their mission.
[bctt tweet=”Finding common ground is the easiest way to connect. You can find common ground with anyone (yes, you can!).”]
Work on these three things: connecting around common ground, not judging, and adding value. If you’ll make that a habit for the next 21 days your relationships will improve, your influence will grow and your team will perform at higher levels.