How to Get Your Head Out of Your You-Know-What

Self-absorbed leaders unintentionally trivialize the people around them. 

Don’t expect extraordinary performance from people you devalue and disrespect. 


If you’re really that important, make others feel valued.

People who feel respected are more likely to behave in remarkable ways. 

Eliminate distractions:

One V.P. I coach left his cell phone behind for an entire day in order to give his undivided attention to a new member of his team. Another coaching client, a Director of HR, leaves his cell phone in the office when he goes to meetings.

Pulling your phone out every few minutes might make you feel important, but it trivializes those around you. I recently read that the presence of a cell phone on the table lowers the quality of relationships around the table.

Make arrangements for emergencies if you leave your phone behind. Provide the name of someone who can contact you. Let others know where you are.

7 cost free ways to make people feel valued:

Simple behaviors have profound impact.

  1. Reflect on the qualities and behaviors you admire about the person speaking to you. (Don’t forget to listen while you do this.)
  2. Go to people. Don’t expect them to always come to you.
  3. Jot notes when others talk. Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, is a voracious note taker.
  4. Apologize, even if it isn’t all your fault.
  5. Relax. Calmness of spirit tells others they matter.
  6. Ask, “What do you think?” Good questions elevate the status of others.
  7. Walk around the office at the end of the day saying ‘thank you’. Point out something they did well.

If you want to lead people, get your head out of your you-know-what. Make people feel valued for their hard work, contribution, and character.

Who made you feel valued? What did they do?