There’s a big difference between appreciating people and making them feel significant. Of course, you still want to appreciate others. But even more than that, you need to make those important people in your life feel that they matter.
Success—both personally and professionally—is hard to achieve without those who support and fill gaps for you. There is rarely an exception to this. Think of people in your life: Who has really impacted your career and your family? Do you make those people feel as if they’re irreplaceable? Do you brag about them in the presence of others? Do you give them credit for all they do for you? Do you ask for their opinions on things important to you and to the success of your company? Do you tell them how much you value their advice? Are you interested in the things they care about?
I have a note on my phone where I’ve written the names of the special people in my life. Next to their names, I noted what’s most important to them. By understanding their needs, I can help them win. When I help them win, I show them how valuable they are to me.
What are you doing to make your clients feel special and significant? I have what I call the “black card” standard of services that comes with special treatment. We pick up our clients and drive them to our meetings, create a spa-like atmosphere in the restrooms and have an outside lounge where people can gather at break times. We also offer healthy snacks and drinks, print their boarding passes and sometimes even wash their vehicles if they’ve driven themselves. We want our clients to feel like we are their concierge service—this is one way we show them that they really matter to us.
How about your family? Do you go the extra mile to make your spouse and children feel important to you? Do you listen to them, value their input, compliment them often and do special things for them? I take thousands of pictures of my family every year and spend hours putting together albums on CDs so we can enjoy the memories together. When family members see how much time I put into these albums, they know how much they matter to me. I take them on vacations and go out of my way to make every birthday and milestone event special. People blossom when they feel loved.
How can you do the same for the people you care about?
This article was published in May 2015 and has been updated. Photo by Odua Images/Shutterstock
Tony Jeary is an author, executive coach and presentation strategist. Jeary has published more than three dozen books about making presentations and strategic effectiveness. He coaches the world's top executives from companies such as Wal-Mart, Ford, New York Life and Texaco.