Everyone has a deep need which they are seeking to fulfill. We all need to feel important. Watch anyone, and if you can identify what makes the person feel important, you will know what motivates the person.
Your customer, your boss, your family and your friends either have a good or bad relationship with you based on how you make them feel important. Otherwise, there is not a relationship. At best, there may be mutual exploitation and utility.
It should not shock me, but it still does. I am incredulous at how business people miss the obvious. They wonder why they lack business when it comes down to how they work with their prospects, the vendors or anyone they run into. We live in an ecosystem of relationships. When we do not do the things which makes the other person feel important, then a relationship is in jeopardy.
Here are they blockades of why people do not give this all important ingredient to making relationships and business opportunities work:
- Scarcity Thinking: People who have scarcity thinking are often blind to it. They think it’s normal to only look out for themselves. They think the game in life is to risk nothing – money, time, emotion, and money (yes, said twice) – and get what they can. When we sense this about others, we feel their agenda is about them, not us. It does not give us a feeling of importance, but only a feeling of being used or abused.
- Lack of Gratitude: If you struggle with expressing gratitude or you are totally oblivious to the myriad amounts of people and opportunities which buttress you up in life and business, then you miss opportunities continually. Think about when people do not express gratitude to you and how that affects you. How likely are you to go above and beyond for the other person? Not at all.
- Lack of Belief: People that believe in themselves do not need to hog the spotlight. They intrinsically know their value. People that do not believe in themselves are so busy seeking their own importance that they are blind to the needs of others’ in this area. It’s what Benjamin Franklin stated, “Pride is a strange disease. It makes everyone sick except the person that has it.”
Make a person feel important and watch your world open up. Get your eyes off yourself and put them on the other person and you will live a life of abundance. Mary Kay trained her people to imagine everyone around them with a sign on their forehead with the words, “Make Me Feel Important.”
If you do not do this, then it is only about the money and only about you. That does not motivate people towards doing business with you or being in a meaningful relationship.
This is not an area to rush in. To see ourselves is difficult. It requires us to be honest with ourselves. Richard Feynman said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”
Here are the steps to help live into this all important principle:
- Decide: Decide that making others feel important is the number one priority. I am not speaking of flattery. I am assuming genuineness on your part.
- Act: If you lack creativity in how to make others feel important, it is because you have not used those muscles before. It is the same reason you struggle finding the right gift for someone. You lack really knowing or caring about them. If you did, then the energy, enthusiasm and creativity follow. Or, you may just be boring. Stop being boring, and risk your heart through action.
- Think: Train your thinking to be about others and not yourself and the habit will develop. Your thought life reveals itself in your actions and decisions.
Ask yourself when you meet people, “How can I make him or her feel important?” If you will do this one thing, then how you do business and how you connect with people will dramatically shift. If you only focus on “How do I make money?” or “How do I feel important?” then the lack you feel in your business and life comes from missing the principle explained herein. The cart is before the horse, and that creates an obvious challenge. My hope is that you will be able to bring value and give it by making others feel important first. It is a fun and rewarding way to live and do business.