Do you ever find yourself surrounded by people who bring out the best in you? What did they do? How did they make you feel? Did you feel like you could almost fly? Maya Angelou said it best, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Couple of years ago, I was lucky to work for a manager who knew everyone on the team pretty well. He took the time to get to know everyone on a personal basis as he did his morning walk- through in the hotel.
After he finished his walk and greeted everyone on the team with an energizing “Good Morning, How are you?” he always took the time to share a positive story about someone- A team member who went above and beyond not only for the guests in the hotel but provided acts of kindness toward their own team.
Each person was looking forward to hearing more each day and with the possibility of hearing their own personal story from him. Throughout the year, he did manage to share those memorable stories of each employee that lead by example through personal acts of service toward other people.
In reflection, it may seem a small gesture of taking the time to recognize your employees but more importantly, my manager was interested in bringing the best in others every day. Instead of focusing on what went wrong or why someone made a mistake, he focused on what’s going right and how we can learn from constructive feedback.
As a leader, are you bringing out the best in others? Do you take the time to highlight what’s going right with the people you lead?
Bringing out the best in others has a big ROI. Stephen Covey in his all-time best seller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, shares a metaphor of the Emotional Bank Account which is probably one of the most powerful ideas ever created for the development of personal relationships.
It means that anyone with whom we have a relationship with, whether it be our staff, family or friends, we maintain a personal “emotional” bank account with them. This account begins on a neutral balance. And just as with any bank account, we can make deposits and withdrawals. However, instead of dealing with units of monetary value, we deal with emotional units.
As a leader, you either making a “deposit” or “withdrawal” when you have a relationship with people. If you want to bring the best in others, you need to continuously make emotional deposits like my manager did. By making these deposits we felt appreciated and cared for as human beings. It was not about the bottom like or cutting costs.
I want to suggest three ideas to share with you as a leader on how you can make those emotional deposits with your co-workers, teams, family and friends:
Focus on their strengths-When you focus on people’s gifts and strengths, they feel like someone is on their side. They feel someone is there to shine a light to their dreams and aspirations. They don’t feel belittled by you or ridiculed by your comments. You take the time to really recognize and appreciate their contribution to the organization, community and family.
Add Value to their Day-Making an emotional deposit can come in the form of adding value to people. It doesn’t have to be a grand theatrical event on your part, but just doing the small little things to add value to someone’s day. Maybe a “Thank You Note”, maybe picking up the phone and praising someone or maybe just being a listening ear.
Find ways to support and encourage when times are challenging-Bringing out the best in others works just as well when you have a problem or an opportunity in your organization, community and family. Find a way to encourage, support and rally people up to stay resilient in a tough situation.