This past week I wrote about feeling valued at work (or the lack thereof).
So for this week’s reflection, I wanted to think a bit more on the theme of value. Who or what gives you a feeling of value? How do you express value for others?
When I think about feeling valued in the workplace, I think about my very first manager in my first permanent job.
What I remember is how well she listened. She wasn’t always able to take immediate action, but she always took me seriously and listened to me with compassion. She would take the time to really hear me out.
She also became an advocate for me. My first promotion was thanks to her. She brought me to meetings with high level managers, she encouraged me to work on projects on my own design, and she gave me recognition for my work.
These are all behaviors that I work to emulate, but to me, the key has always been listening. One of my former co-workers used to frequently quote the saying, “People may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” I’ve found that truly listening to people is one of the single most effective tools in helping them feel valued. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need to find the perfect words, but so often, it’s not our words that matter. It’s simply how we make them feel.