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4 Ways to Recapure the Lost Art of Making People Feel They Matter

Ego’s cry is, “What about me?”

Who will listen to you, if you become a leader who makes others feel they matter?


Leaders with big egos overestimate their abilities. Big egos often embolden big action. The downside of a big ego is you might suck where you believe you excel.


On a scale of 1-10, how do you rank yourself on making others feel they matter? ‘10’ means people always feel they matter – heard and understood – when you listen to them, ‘1’ means almost never.

This isn’t about your intention to make people feel they matter. It’s about actual behaviors.

Lower your ranking. If you gave yourself a ‘5’, be generous and give yourself a ‘3’.


Listening is about how you make people feel, not simply strategies, methods, and techniques. The lost art of leadership isn’t listening skills. It’s making people feel they matter.

Listen to understand, if you want people to feel they matter.

Spend more time focused on listening than you spend on being a great communicator.

4 ways to make people feel they matter:

Energy, commitment, and engagement go up when people feel they matter.

  1. Be interested. Listening skills are an offense apart from genuine interest in people. Be more interested in people than in what they can do for you. Get out of leadership if you don’t care about people. 
  2. Make it safe.
    1. Express esteem. Let people know you respect them.
    2. Honor vulnerability. Whenever a person speaks their real truth, pause and say thank you.
    3. Remove barriers and distractions. Turn off notifications. Turn away from computer screens.
  3. Engage with ideas.
    1. Ask questions.
    2. Say it back. Use their words.
    3. Say, ‘This makes me think…’
  4. Explore assumptions.
    1. What made you think of this?
    2. Where does this come from?
    3. What’s important to you about this?

What makes you feel you matter?

How might leaders make others feel they matter?

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