How do I make you feel?
Maya Angelou once said: They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Oh, that resonates with me: when I hear this, I immediately think of the people who have made an impact on me. For example, that high school teacher who always encouraged me with words such as "you will get there, you can do anything". And so, even before I had even started my career, I was already "set up for success," with that one comment! That teacher did well!
But there is also another kind of impact that lingers: there is a restaurant that I will never visit again, no matter how attractive the menu is. I was going to have lunch there with my sister just the other day. We were allowed to choose a table in the back after the table by the window where we actually wanted to sit turned out to be reserved. The Back room in the restaurant was completely empty, so we settled down on a table of our liking. "No not there, and if you just had waited for me, I could have told you that you are not allowed to sit there because that is for 4 people" we heard when we were well and truly installed in that empty back room of the restaurant. You understand, we got up and went to another restaurant, one that welcomed us, regardless of where we wanted to sit. They made us feel like valuable customers.
What do I do?
This is just a single example of how quickly someone can make you feel worthless with a small comment. Fortunately, you know how to deal with this: once you have read the blog of 27 August, you walk away and use the techniques that Marisa Peer how not to let this kind of criticism come in (see blog Feedback is your friend –but what if it isn't?). But this of course applies both ways. How often do I take the opportunity to make someone feel good about themselves? How often do I point out someone's value? It is so easy for me to comment on how things shouldn’t be done (e.g. about politics, about a company where I used to work, about the Amsterdam leasehold scheme (erfpacht) - just to name a few topics about which I can be quite outspoken).
My good intentions
I'm going to turn this around: every morning I will start to make a concious effort to think about what is going well. In my life, with my friends, with my family, with politics, with business, you name it. And I challenge myself to take every opportunity to intertwine this with the everyday conversations I have during the day. I am absolutely positive that, next to making the people around me feel better, I will also make myself feel much better! Win-win if I’ve ever seen one! ☺ Joining me?