As a leader, you know the importance of helping those who serve with you feel valuable.
We all want our teams, our direct reports, and even those above us to know their worth and their value. Most of us utilize a variety of ways to help them feel it, but there is one very subtle way that a lot of leaders miss frequently. In fact, it is so subtle, most of us do not even recognize it’s potential when creating a sense of value on our teams. What is it?
Recently, I heard our Campus Pastor, Joel Thomas, talk about a concept that seems so simple, but has a huge impact. It is the discipline to take the time and purposefully communicate what others need to know in a way that gives them appropriate time to respond.
Here’s what I mean.
Do you remember that time that you were the last person to find out a vital piece of information? Do you remember that feeling? All in one swoop you may have felt rejected, angry, hurt, frustrated, and most off all…devalued. When it seems like everyone found out before you, the last emotion you feel is valued.
Now let’s reverse it…Do you remember the last time you were brought in and were the first person to know? Do you remember that feeling? You may have felt trusted, important, cared for, excited, and most of all…valued.
Information is a powerful tool, and when leveraged correctly, and it can help your team members feel valued in a very special way.
Here some ways that you can be intentional about leveraging information to help your team feel valuable:
1. Communicate before action is required.
When you can be intentional about giving your team margin to act, they will not only feel valued but also more confident. Margin gives your team space to do their best work. Last minute communication causes team members to feel pressure and stress.
2. Give information one-on-one when possible.
Whenever you can bring a team member in to give information one-on-one, you communicate value. It is the difference between a classroom and a conversation with the professor. It is the difference between a speech from a coach and a side conversation with them. Communicating in one-on-one situations always has more potential to communicate value than group settings.
3. Be mindful of the language you use.
Your phrasing when communicating to others will shape how they feel during and after the conversation. Be very intentional about how you say what you have to say. One phrase that I have tried to take out of my conversations is, “I have something to tell you.” I have found a better phrase is, “I have something to share with you.” Minor adjustments like that can completely change the tone of a conversation.
Helping your team members feel valued can be as simple as being intentional about how you communicate vital information. Giving margin, being intentional about your language, and making sure no one is the “last to know” can go a long way in helping your team know what you already feel… that they are valuable.