Through my work as a psychologist for executives, I have found that when people feel truly seen, sometimes for the first time in their lives, old patterns they’ve been clinging to for decades suddenly begin to drop away.
What do you imagine might happen if you put a quarter as much effort into recognizing others that they (or you) put into trying to get that recognition? If that intrigues you, consider these tips:
- Notice the positive characteristics that make each of your colleagues special – and give a voice to them. They’ll often be qualities they don’t even recognize themselves. Remember: Nearly everyone struggles with feeling “not good enough.” When you truly see your coworkers, you’ll help them realize their gifts so that they can start giving them.
- Your “seeing” need not only be through words. You can also provide it through quietly making eye contact and intently listening.
- Beware of lapsing into judgment when you inevitably encounter people very needy for recognition. Perhaps they’ve hungered for this for a very long time and went wanting in ways you can’t even imagine. When people have such a hunger, feed them. Then stay alert and watch what happens.
Observe closely and you will find that virtually everyone has a deep need to be seen. When you meet that need for them, your relationships and your impact will grow dramatically.
Copyright (c) 2011 Dean M. Herman, Ph.D. All rights reserved.