By Louise Kaelin –
What we need has a lot to do with how we live our life. Actually, let me correct that. What we need and DON’T GET has almost everything to do with how we live our life. When we need something and don’t get it, we put a lot of energy into trying to get that need met.
While our compulsion to satisfy unmet social, emotional and growth needs is just as strong as our need to obtain food and water, these efforts usually happen on an unconscious level.
Without understanding why, we are driven to do things, not always in our best long-term interests, to satisfy our needs.
As I’ve worked with many people over the years in trying to identify their unmet needs, the single most pervasive missing need is acknowledgement. We have a need to be valued, acknowledged, visible and counted.
There are definite tools you can use to work on getting your needs fulfilled. One of the simplest — and the one you have the most control over — is to GIVE what you want to RECEIVE. To paraphrase the message from the Bible, “You reap what you sow”. People tend to respond in kind. That means, if you’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to you. Taking these two ideas together, here are some simple suggestions for giving acknowledgement, which in turn should allow you feel acknowledged as well.
- Make eye contact. Looking at people straight in the eye is the first step in showing acknowledgement. This little tip can make an enormous difference in your life because it’s simple to do and can be practiced every day, every where. Try keeping your head up while you walk and really “look” at the people you pass in the street. Notice who is looking at you and who is looking down, afraid to make eye contact. Making eye contact is a definite sign of self confidence and draws people to you.
- Smile. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people prefer not to do it. I’m not clear why, but I think it may have to do with not initiating interaction. We prefer to respond to others, not start the ball rolling. This, in turn, has to do with our fear of rejection. We are concerned that our smile won’t be returned, so we wait to see what the other person does.
- Use names where you know them. There is nothing so aligned with who we are as our name. In fact, what is your first response to “Who are you?”. Yes, your name! So using the names of people goes a long way in helping them feel acknowledged. Use first names when you know them and it’s appropriate; use Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Smith, when the situation calls for a more formal salutation. If you think about, there are a lot of situations where people, especially in stores, are wearing name tags. Make sure you check it out and use it frequently during any conversation.
- Say thank you often. No matter what the situation, there are many opportunities to say thank you. For example, when a waiter brings your food, when an employee completes an assignment, when your son draws a picture of you — the examples are endless. Two small words and yet how powerful they are in helping people feel validated and useful. That simple phrase is at the core of all acknowledgement, so use it often. It never gets old or corny.
- When someone does a good job, let them know. There are few things more motivational than having someone pat you on the back and saying “Nice work!”. Sometimes you need to search for something to acknowledge people for, but it is well worth the effort. For 90% of all people, your recognition will spur them to try harder and do an even better job the next time. Don’t forget to say “Well Done!” for that achievement, too.
- Be willing to ‘go first’. As I mentioned above, most of us prefer to take the lead on how to act from other people. It takes courage to be the first one up, but with practice, it becomes easier. It might help to remember that others are waiting for someone ELSE to start the interaction, so why not be that person?
Try these simple steps and pay close attention to how others feel around you and also how you start feeling about yourself. Notice how people perk up when you come around and notice how you feel when you are alone. I am willing to bet that you feel more acknowledged and valued yourself.
And if you’re interested in more tips for Becoming Your Best Self, I invite you to claim your free instant access to the ebook “Blueprint for Success”, chock full of ideas and strategies to reclaim your energy and get the results you want by visiting [http://www.touchpointcoaching.com/bfs.htm].
From Louise Morganti Kaelin – Become Your Best Self and Live Your Best Life!