If you read the last post, you were introduced to the first step to engagement which is the concept of Being Intentional, where you were encouraged to consciously chose your words, actions and direction based on the question – “What kind of (Person? Manager? Daughter? Friend?) do I want to be?” This is a profound question that can change your direction in the blink of an eye.
Moving forward, the second step to the Simplicity of Engagement is to focus on Creating Significance. Whether it be in the way you make people feel, or the emphasis you put on different moments in time, our opportunity to create significance is everywhere – we just have to open our eyes to it.
Everyone in your world, every single person, wants to be significant. Point blank. Done. We all want to feel significant. We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. We all want to be noticed. This can look like a million different things because each person feels significant in their own way, but it is still important for each of us to feel it. So, as you walk through your world, creating engagement – what can you do to create significance?
Some ways that I have used to create significance have included:
- Consciously creating rapport with someone when they are serving me – from a barista to a cashier – to make sure that I leave them feeling better than when I arrived.
- Actively looking for ways to pay it forward – taking notice of someone and seeing what they might need and offering that. Maybe it is to invite someone over for dinner who seems to be having a rough time, or paying for the next person’s coffee in the drive-thru. It is about noticing what people need and being in-service to them.
- Celebrating small milestones and accomplishments, noticing when something went well for someone and praising them for their efforts.
One of the best ways I have felt significant in the past, is when someone sees me and their smile gets a little brighter. They are clearly happy to see me, they are clearly present in the moment with me and it makes me feel significant to be in their presence. This doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t take a lot of effort and the impact? Priceless.
Creating significance can take practice. Next time you are in a conversation, practice really listening. And not the “hurry up and stop talking so I am can make my point” kind of listening, but in a really listening kind of way where you are actively wanting to hear what the person is saying and they can feel it. You are giving them space and room in your conversation with them and that has them feeling significant.
In the workplace, creating significance changes the dynamic between people. Employees start finding ways to create significance for each other and to reciprocate to you as their leader. Creating significance has a ripple effect that reaches far and wide and will impact in ways that you will never even know about. But trust in the process and you will see the impact start to unfold.
Your assignment: It isn’t always about the big effort and the big gesture. It is also about the small things like grabbing a coffee for someone on the way past their desk. What is one thing you can do today to create significance for someone? Let us know below what you did and how you felt!
Next time: Step Three – Find Meaning