How Leaders Change People By Simply Seeing Them
One summer, years ago, my wife and I stopped yelling at each other when we noticed the windows were up.
People change when someone’s watching or listening.
I read that people are more generous if a poster of human eyes hangs over a donation box.
Have you seen leaders walk around without looking at people? Ignoring people is an act of power that makes others feel less powerful.
People need to be seen. Leaders make people feel they matter by seeing and acknowledging them.
Gratitude is a way of seeing that changes people. You get what you honor.
5 ways to see people:
See with your eyes and your mouth.
#1. Honor development. Let people know that you see them working to develop skills. “I can see that you’ve turned team meetings into energizing experiences. What are you learning?”
#2. Elevate status when results exceed expectation. Give titles to acknowledge great results, not to elevate poor performance. Providing titles to people who haven’t performed invites entitlement.
#3. Give public acknowledgement. Let people hear you bragging about them to others. Tell higher ups about someone’s great performance.
Enjoy someone’s performance publicly.
#4. Praise character and strength. Gratitude is about behaviors. Praise is about character. You might say, “I notice that you’re very kind with people.”
#5. Show gratitude for effort and energy, even if performance falls short. If you want people to pour energy into work, notice their effort, even if the numbers fall short. “I could tell that you worked really hard, even though we fell short of our goal.”
See disappointing performance with forward facing optimism.
- “What are you going to do differently next time?”
- “What are you learning about yourself or your team?”
- “What strengths can you bring to the next challenge?”
How might you see people today?
What you missed over the weekend:
Everyone wants to see initiative in their organization:
10 Ways to Build a Go-For-It Culture
Permission Seeking – Getting Direction – Making a Difference
A nice reminder to be active in leadership and acknowledge the team on a daily basis.
It’s too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and forget about those you serve as leader.
I am reminded about my experiences in the army that flip leadership on its head. While rank exists, leaders always ensured the team ate first, showered first, were resupplied first … because it is the team that you rely on in battle.
Thanks Rob. It’s so true. Day to day pressures and challenges make us forget to simply pay attention to the people around us.
You reminded me of THE THREE THANK RULE. Say thank you three times before lunch. Name something and say thank you. You can say thank you in 15 seconds.
Take it to the next level by giving a specific, personal affirmation once a day.
What a great article! Showing gratitude and appreciation definitely makes an huge impact on our staff. We express gratitude face to face, in emails, staff meetings, one on one meetings, performance check-ups; even when a person may not be doing so well.We appreciate the effort to improve! We acknowledge hard work by our employees to others within and outside of our organization. Whenever we can possibly reinforce our gratitude for this person who has chosen to be employed with us! We appreciate all they do and it important that leadership pave the way for “Outrageous Hospitality” to our staff; it then becomes contagious! We expect our leaders to provide exceptional service to their teams by “seeing their staff”, coaching, guiding and being an active part of the team. Leaders must pave the way. No we aren’t a hotel or restaurant but we do believe in letting our staff know we appreciate their hard work, dedication and drive to accomplish our goals and mission. We see, appreciate and acknowledge each other often, in fact daily!
Enjoyed the article about engaging with your team. I think that is this something I can improve on as sometimes find myself caught up in my own thoughts or not really paying attention when walking the halls. But there have been times when walking the halls I run into my manager and get a compliment it is something I remember about that day. Its a good way to create a positive culture and improve moral and encourage employees.
Hello! Similar to the other comments I read, I enjoyed reading this post. It reminded me of what an effective leader does on a regular basis (even when no one is watching). My supervisor and department are going through the Arbinger training with the book study: Leadership and Self-Deception. It talks about seeing people as people instead of vehicles for own agenda. This article really reinforced that notion of having an outward mindset. You can find more information in the blog “Are you Leader People Can Trust” in the Arbinger website. Thank you!
Great article Dan. A commitment I’ve made that has had a trmendous impact on people is to hand them a notecard with a thoughtful, handwritten acknowledgement of their behavior or contribution. The resonse to this has been tremendous and has lead to us creating our own inspirarational messages on each card.