Our Need to Be Significant in the Workplace

One of our fundamental human needs is to know that we are significant – that we matter.  Serving on a team is one way to fulfill that need. Leaders have opportunities every day to encourage team members through their comments and questions.

“Vision comes alive when everyone sees where his or her contribution makes a difference.”  Ken Blanchard

How do you authentically communicate with your team members that they matter?

Here are some ideas to consider:

1. Tell each person specifically what they bring to the team. Describe the positive impact they have on the team culture or results.

  • “I noticed the way you…”
  • “I saw you…”
  • “Did you know that when you… it (describe the positive impact)?”

2. Listen to them and empathize with them.

  • “I hear you saying that…”
  • “It sounds like you…”
  • “I had a similar experience once…”

3. Be open to their suggestions and ideas.

  • “Your perspective is important to me.”
  • “I wonder how you would handle this issue.”
  • “I can tell you put a lot of thought into this and I value your insights.”

4. When they have been away let them know they were missed.

  • “I’m glad you had a nice vacation, it is sure nice to have you back with us.”
  • “We thought of you while you were away.”
  • “Your [energy, perspective, knowledge) were missed.”

“It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.”  Tony Robbins

What other ways can you let your team members know they matter? Please share your ideas in the comment box below.

About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field, Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are highly productive and positive. Learn about her Better Teams Model and Team Assessment here.

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