How to make people feel better
If Maya Angelou is right, then
‘‘people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’’.
She’s right of course in what she says, and it’s worth noting when we’re aiming to be emotionally intelligent, to draw others towards us and make a favourable impression on them.
Why would we want to do that, in the work context, in our personal lives? Here are a few reasons:
- To persuade and influence others, to our mutual benefit.
- To build and maintain relationships, making us more effective.
- To make others feel good, including about themselves.
Achieving these things is liable to make us feel good about ourselves, in a virtuous cycle. This isn’t the whole story of course regarding feeling good about ourselves, but what can we do to establish our personal feel-good factor?
We’ll need to consider how our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are helping or hindering in this regard – if they’re not helpful, what and when can I do something about them?
The more deep-seated beliefs and attitudes that drive and are maintained by these thoughts, feelings and behaviours – e.g. ‘‘I’m okay/I’m not okay; I can cope/I can’t cope; I can change/I can’t change’’ – will take some shifting, but are not of course permanent and immovable.
In the context of drawing others towards us, what is your ‘aura’ like, how approachable are you? And are people drawn to you, do they feel better having been in contact with you?
If we can make others feel that:
- We respect them.
- We are warm/we feel warm towards them.
- We accept them.
- We want to listen to them.
- We are interested in them.
- We are minded to like them.
Then they are likely to feel comfortable and confident around us, and have positive feelings towards us. As a result of these feelings between us, they’re also likely to be more interesting and engaging and present the best version of themselves. Not a guarantee of course, but just more likely – we maximise the chances of this happening.
(I do appreciate that there may be some people towards whom you have difficulty feeling warm and so on!)
What can you do today to improve your aura/how you come across to others? This may include your body language; listening skills; empathy; openness; attentiveness; caring attitude; ‘positive’ mindset and of course how you feel about yourself.
Could you pick just one or two of these areas, and do things better today/tomorrow?