First a quote: “Asking and hearing people’s opinion has a greater effect on them than telling them, great job.” ― Sam Walton, Walmart Founder
Good morning and happy Monday!
Every day people go to work asking themselves, usually subconsciously, several questions including:
- Do I fit?
- Do I matter?
- Does anybody care… about me?
Over recent years I have asked my audiences, and workshop participants, when they last received a compliment from their manager, or someone north of them on the organizational chart. Over 80% report not knowing, or remembering, the last time they were recipients of a meaningful “atta boy” or “atta girl”. That is sad and very telling. I have several theories about the root cause of this phenomenon.
All too often, we offer the important people in our lives, both at work and at home, a meaningless “Great job” (or similar) without any detail, depth or genuine sincerity. Consequently, it isn’t heard as a compliment, or praise, because of its lack of substance.
And worse yet, the “Great job” is usually followed by the word “but” which basically erases anything prior. The compliment we intended to bestow isn’t being heard, or remembered, as meaningful feedback; because it wasn’t a compliment at all, but rather a veiled attempt at delivering critical feedback. The “great job” preceding the “but” might make you feel better, but it was meaningless and disingenuous for the person hearing it.
Today, I’m suggesting Sam Walton was correct. Asking people what they think, and listening to their answer, is often the most meaningful way to show someone is important to you, that you care what they’re thinking or what they’re feeling. You have probably heard the cliché I have shared before: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
I submit here; people tend to judge how much you know by what you say, but they judge how much you care by the way you listen… really listen! Do you want someone to know they are important to you and your team? If so, ask them what they think and listen deeply, and carefully, to what they say.
Consider questions like:
- What could we do to improve communication on our team?
- What is working well in our department? What could I/we do better or differently?
- What could we do to better serve our customers?
- How could our staff meetings be better or more productive?
- What is preventing us from doing our best work?
- Is there anything I could do differently to be more effective as your fill in the blank (manager, mentor, spouse, parent, friend)?
To “walk the talk”; Is there anything I could differently, or better, to help make these Monday Morning Minute missives more helpful, or more valuable, for you each week?
Please drop me a line with your ideas and feedback. My goal is to make a difference for you each week. Your opinions matter to me.
How will you lead differently, or better, this week?
Have a great week!!
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”
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