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.

Who’s watching:

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.”

Disappointing performance:

See disappointing performance with forward facing optimism.

  1. “What are you going to do differently next time?”
  2. “What are you learning about yourself or your team?”
  3. “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