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How to Value Others – Pay Attention

By September 22, 2020Church, Leadership

One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is to help others feel valued. This is true whether your leadership position is at work, as a parent, or as part of a peer group.

We’ve all worked with people who devalued those around them. It might have stemmed from insecurity or poor training. Regardless, the results are the same. Over time, devalued people become demotivated and demoralized.

Simply put, everyone suffers.

When a person feels valued, they work harder, with more passion, and the overall team is strengthened.

Over the next few blog posts, I want to share a few simple ways we can communicate to people that they matter. These aren’t graduate level instructions. In fact, most of life doesn’t require graduate level instructions (unless you’re studying brain surgery!).

#1 – Pay Attention to People

It’s OK to not pay attention to people … when no one is around you. Unfortunately, we often act like we’re alone when we’re actually in a group of people. This is true whether the meeting is one-on-one or includes ten other people.

How often do we pull out our smart phone during a conversation and check an alert or even send a text message? Probably more than you realize.

Imagine living 25 years ago, before the advent of the smart phone. Imagine being in a conversation and the other person picks up a book and starts reading for a few minutes. Every now and then they nod their head, in attempt to communicate “I’m still listening.” Then, after a few minutes, they just drop the book and return to the conversation.

How would you feel? Would you feel valued?

In your next meeting or conversation, count how many times people check their smart phone or tap out a text message.  When you’re at a restaurant, watch for tables where no one is talking but are on their phones instead.

One simple way to help people feel valued is to put away your phone and … look at them.

In public speaking, we are taught to have a good eye contact with our audience. There are several reasons why this is important. For one, it helps them stay engaged with what you’re saying. It also helps you gauge their interest and whether or not they are tracking you.

In a subtle but powerful way, it also communicates this: I know you are present. I know you are there.

If I’m in a conversation and the other person is looking out the window, what should I assume? That whatever is on the other side of the window is more important than me.

A parent who pays attention to her child is communicating value. A teacher who actively engages a student is communicating value.

If you want the people around you to feel valued, pay attention to them.

Experience and Background

  • 25+ years of senior leadership experience
  • masters in business administration (mba)
  • presenter at the WFX National Conference
  • former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
  • helped start 2 for-profit tech companies

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One of the things I enjoy the most is helping individuals or organizations reach their full potential.  It’s been said, “everyone wins when a leader gets better.”

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