12 Most Powerful Ways to Let People Know They Matter

12 Most Powerful Ways to Let People Know They Matter

When I think of people who made the biggest impact in my life, it was not their expertise or accomplishments that provided me with the direction, guidance and reassurance I needed to accomplish my goals. It was their sincere belief in me. They let me know through their words and actions that I mattered.The people in your life want that same validation. In fact, every single person you will ever meet shares this common desire. They want to know they matter.


The measure of a life is not what that life accomplishes but rather
the impact that life has on others.

-Jackie Robinson


Mattering is a universal human need, and it’s one you have the opportunity to satisfy. But that depends on if the people in your life can answer, “yes” to the following questions:

  • Do you see me?
  • Do you hear me?
  • Do you care about me?
  • Do I matter to you?

Here are the 12 Important things to do now to ensure a “yes” every time you encounter or interact with someone significant or yet-to-be significant in your life.

1. Begin and End Your Sentences with “YOU”

    • I believe in you
    • I hear you
    • I understand you
    • You were awesome
    • You rocked it
    • You amaze me

Imagine where these conversations will take you.

2. Acknowledge Everyone

When you acknowledge someone, you recognize their value and importance. How about starting the day with a “Good Morning” email or Tweet? Or smiling at each and every co-workers as you pass by them by on way to the office? Or reaching out to a new acquaintance you see in a crowd or bump into in the Blogosphere? Go out of your way to acknowledge people. Make an effort to “see them”. Like the Na’vi in the movie Avatar, who greeted one another with the phrase “I see you” as a belief and acknowledgment there is something marvelous in everyone you meet.

3. Listen With Interest

There is a difference between simply listening to people and listening with interest. This kind of listening requires your ears and heart. Listening with deep interest signifies that you really care about what someone is saying in contrast to simply listening because it is the nice thing to do. If you question whether people can tell the difference, DON’T. They can, and it matters.

4. Ask Mattering (not Matter-of-Fact) Questions

Question are a window into our minds and intentions. We show people how much they matter by the questions we ask. How important do these questions make you feel?

  • What rocked your world today?
  • Who’s world did YOU rock today?
  • How can I make your day?
  • What can I do to make it better?

5. Be Present

The ultimate present you can give another is your PRESENCE. How many times have you been in a conversation with someone, and you know their mind is in another place? How many times have you felt “un-noticed” when someone was looking right at you? You do not have to be available for everyone in every moment … but when you have someones time and attention; honor it with your presence. Really make that person the center of your attention and experience, even if only for a few minutes.
It does wonders in the mattering department!

6. Encourage and Reassure Confidence

If you’ve had the pleasure of teaching a classroom full of young children, you know how much encouragement matters. Children ask out loud, “Is this ok? Did I do it right? Do you like what I did? The need the reassurance that we are headed in the right direction, does not stop when you leave grade school. When you encourage others, you not only communicate that you care and they matter; you add fuel to their motivational fire. And perhaps more than anything else, you give them hope and inspiration. If you need a model of how this works, check out this guy.

7. Deliver Happiness

Cynicism sucks. It sucks the life out of work, business, and people.
Life and work is hard enough and it is easy to get into situations that tear us down. People want and need to be inspired. When people are inspired, they are lifted above these kinds of circumstances and allowed to see the upside of what they can achieve or become. If you can be the one who inspires them, by encouragement or modeling, you’ve helped them and you matter!

8. Talk About Others

No one likes the person in the family, at work, or at the party who only talks about themselves, their interests, their accomplishments and their importance, right?
You become far more interesting and important when you talk about the exciting things other people are doing, trying, creating, writing, and sharing. Doing so gives you the opportunity to make a lot of new friends and establish yourself as someone who is always learning and growing from others. Now, that’s an accomplishment worth talking about.

9. Offer Hope

At every moment of the day, we are either making the world a better place or making it worse. Our thoughts spread out and become contagious, either positively infecting others or unleashing a plague of negativity, doubt and fear. We have the power to help lift someone up or to bring them down. How we interact with those we meet may be the catalyst that sets someone into an emotional tailspin or the spark that provides them with encouragement and HOPE for a better day… or maybe even a better life.

10. Sweat the Small Stuff

Today I heard from a friend. It was a simple text message asking how I was doing followed by a :-). It mattered.

It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. It could be a smile, wink, or tweet. It could be an email of praise or a pat on the back for encouragement. Or, a call to say, “hi – how ya doin’, you were on my mind. Almost always, it’s something small that makes a big difference. So, do sweat the small stuff.

11. Tell the People in Your Life How You Feel About Them

If it doesn’t come natural to you, all the more reason to do it more often. It will begin to feel natural soon. Of course, “You matter” is what everyone wants to hear, but other phrases work just as well: “I’m happy to see you. You mean so much to me. You’re contribution to the team is immeasurable. I so appreciate you.” The language of mattering is universal; no translation necessary. Tell people and tell them often how much they matter!

12. Make The Choice

Mattering is a choice. Give yourself that option everyday. It doesn’t matter how you do it- it only matters that you do it. You can say it, write it, tweet it, or deliver the message in person. Make the choice everyday to tell, offer, thank, encourage, inspire, and let others know you notice and believe in them. It could be and often will be the most powerful thing you do all day. Is mattering on your TO DO list?

I’ll leave you with this final thought and challenge.

Can you imagine what kind of world we can create by each of us knowing we matter, believing in ourselves and supporting one another?

Can you imagine how actions you take today, could make a difference in some one’s life tomorrow? And that ripple would last for generations?

I can, and I know this simple, clear message of “YOU MATTER” has the power to change lives and change the world.

Join me in letting the world know in big and small ways that they matter. And in case you’ve not yet been told today that what you do makes a difference, than let me be the first to say…

YOU MATTER!

Photo courtesy of jinterwas, used under creative commons license. Some rights reserved.

Angela Maiers

http://angelamaiers.com

Angela Maiers is an award-winning educator, speaker, consultant and professional trainer known for her work in literacy, leadership and global communications. She is a consistently energized and recognized worldwide speaker greatly impacting leadership through not only the education field, but the international business community as well. Challenging educational philosophies and business ethics, Angela strives to achieve total synergy and unstoppable energy by reconstructing the thought process of many dated ideologies.

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72 comments
pattycox312
pattycox312

@ZinkEd_u You matter to me!!!!! :). Love this.

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@jpablodonoso thank you so much for sharing!

loiscreamer
loiscreamer

Angela, GREAT post! This article should be required reading for anyone who manages in business. Also required reading for leaders!

ritabrennanfreay
ritabrennanfreay

This is great! Love #4, 10 and 11....imagine the ripple effect! If we all did one small thing...that make the big things, wow! We are on the same page, today for sure! All the best,

Rita Brennan Freay

http://ritabrennanfreay.com

MikeLehrOZA
MikeLehrOZA

Terrific points Angela, and they don't require a budget! I liked #1, 7 & 11. It's amazing how we try not to be personal just so we don't harm anyone. When you're being positive, it's great to be personal. People like the sun for many reasons. #7 means being the sun for people in their lives. #11 means making a connection. I love your heartfelt points; they are dead on. Thank you for the post.

mrwashy
mrwashy

@angelamaiers Fantastic article on #youmatter i'm going to print and post in my faculty room! Thanks for sharing such great ideas

TereseSmithWalshGaugh
TereseSmithWalshGaugh

I also work for a school district (at a high school) and this list should be posted in every staff lounge, mail room and any other area where faculty/staff are present. Many of the problems communicating with teens could be avoided simply by following your wise and timely advice. Thank you very much!

PamHolcomb
PamHolcomb

This is sobering and poignant! As a leader of several people, programs, & initiatives in a large school district, it makes me look in the mirror and determine ways to make those around me matter, more. 2011-2012 shall be the States of Matter at my department! I proclaim it.

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@kdwashburn Your post has mattered to many- over 100 shares, 1000 views, and many many ripples to come! Wise words from a wise writer!

EdReformPR
EdReformPR

@angelamaiers I noticed "Test the snot out of them" didn't make that list of ways to let ppl know they matter. What gives?!

Tekstsprutten
Tekstsprutten

@shez555 - LOL - Great question! Actually I don't know. Maybe you already did what you had to do...

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@mrwashy Rich that is AWESOME! You must share the conversations that follow! I can hardly wait to hear! :-)

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@TereseSmithWalshGaugh Terese you absolutely made my day. I think we should do a little experiment. Just post it and see what happens! I believe we will be amazed!

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@PamHolcomb Pam, I love it! You are the leader that gives me hope for what is possible in education! It is just that simple and it is exactly that hard! Thank you for taking the #youmatter message to school with you- right where it belongs!

kdwashburn
kdwashburn

@angelamaiers Wow, that's excellent. Thanks for the invitation to contribute. This makes my day in what has been a tough week!

bonniekschulz
bonniekschulz

@angelamaiers #4 The entire post stood out 2 me & reinforced the message I'm giving 2 my college students this 1st week.

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@EdReformPR Nope, I was debating on that one and also give them hundreds of hours mindless worksheets either...did I do ok?

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@SLPTanya I have found that people respond to hope, insight, and inspiration much better than they do to cynicism and arrogance-ur thoughts?

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@SLPTanya would love to see that post. Positivity and optimism are a necessity to do good work and to get the team u need to accomplish it

EdReformPR
EdReformPR

@angelamaiers I don't know. We spend gazillions on those tests. What says "U matter" more than that? #WeTestYouSoCorporateFatCatsCanMakeBank

SLPTanya
SLPTanya

@angelamaiers absolutely - it's no accident that the ppl who thrive at work & online are more often the ones who build up - not tear down

EdReformPR
EdReformPR

@angelamaiers It'd be utter chaos. We'd have to employ actual ppl, not computers & bubble sheets. Time for u to drink ur corporate kool-aid.

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@EdReformPR On a serious note - What if we measure mattering? How would teachers,schools, leaders score? What would that look like?

SLPTanya
SLPTanya

@angelamaiers LOL You've jumped over it - we'll have to keep going higher to match you! :)

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@SLPTanya Great president to set! Love that you are setting the tweet bar high! Will try to jump over that for you!

SLPTanya
SLPTanya

@angelamaiers Amongst SLPs we've started responding +ly to + comments & ignoring or finding + in neg ones. Ppl change their tweet style!

AngelaMaiers
AngelaMaiers

@SLPTanya Still amazes me how much tearing down I see. Try to rise above it most days, but still it can slowly destroy a spirit!

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