How Are People Left When You Leave Their Presence?

As leaders, we have an impact on others—whether we realize it or not. This is one of the five marks of authentic leadership.

Newton’s Cradle with One Ball Being Dropped - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/TommL, Image #17094436

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/[photographer]

But that impact is a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways. It is either positive or negative. It is rarely neutral.

This means we don’t just mindlessly waltz into a meeting and waltz out. Everything we say has an impact.

When we leave, people are left either …

  • Energized or depleted
  • Encouraged or discouraged
  • Inspired to tackle the next challenge or wanting to quit

Even the things we don’t say—our attitude, our facial expressions, and our body language—have an impact.

How do you leave people?

The good news is that YOU get to decide what that impact will be. But first you have to become aware of your power. It is greater than you can possibly imagine.

Recognize it. Honor it. Use it for good.

Question: What effect are you having on those around you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    “He is so friendly.”

    Apparently, this was said about me as I was leaving a situation at work the other day.  I want to be marked as being friendly, helpful, and always full of grace.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       What a great affirmation!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      I just visited with a guy yesterday who’s very energetic. He told me of a recent experience at a county fair where someone said, “Are you really like this all the time or just putting on an act for the fair?” He’s really like that all the time.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Jon, I love when I go into a situation thinking I want to be perceived a certain way and then receive affirmation that I was perceived that way. Great feeling. 

      • Mikerjb7

        Tim, you nailed it. You must already see the outcome before you start so that your performance will always achieve it.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Awesome Jon! That’s a great compliment to receive.

  • http://www.wevival.com/ Jason Stambaugh

    First off, honored to be making the first comment of the day. 

    I hope [fingers crossed] that I leave people feeling energized and encouraged. However, I usually can tell when I’m blowing it. The moment I start criticizing and complaining, I can always feel the emotional tides turn… 

    I don’t want to be *that* guy.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Me neither. I have given my team permission to tell me when I am!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       I’ve seen that moment where I’ve lost my listeners during a sermon. It’s not a pretty sight. And, like you, I don’t want to be *that* guy, but I have been.

  • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

    Excellent thoughts Michael! I would add there is a cumulative impact of our presence, particularly in an office setting where we find ourselves in close, day to day interactions with other people. I think it’s as important to listen as it is to speak. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with that, Chris. It is important to stay focused on the outcome. Our behavior leads to our reputation. Our reputation leads to our legacy. Thanks for your comment.

      • http://www.saracanaday.com Sara Canaday

        “You Know What Your Reputation is Don’t You?  Yes, those words were uttered to me some 20 years ago while climbing the corporate ladder.  At the time I cringed, now I refer to it as a “gift”.  How was I to know that my hard-driving, missle focused demenor was interpreted as “machine-like” and transaction-only oriented.  With this new found knowledge, I was able to work on adjusting my behavior and improving my reputation/leadesrhip brand.  The best part, I  now spend my days helping others see how their “blind spots” might be causing  a disconnect between how they want to be perceived vs. how others see them. 

        • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

          lol… This story sounds very familiar to me Sara. For me, it was a revelation and a part of learning to be more rounded, and grounded. :-)

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    “I have the ability to make a grown person cry.”

    Those were the words of a business partner on one of our late night walks. We were at the stage in our company where we had seemingly overnight gone from 12 people to 30. The new PR director was 23, fresh out of college and earlier that week he had said something that drove her to tears.

    Not to get all Spider-Man on ya’ll, but he realized that with great power comes great responsibility.

    The greatest mark of a good leader, in my opinion, is not how they act or perform when I am in the room, but how they do when I walk out. Because I was such a discouraging, demotivating micromanager early on, when I left my team sucked. I thought it was a “personnel problem” and I was right…I was the personnel problem.

    I try, try, try now to leave my team knowing three things:

    1. That I trust them
    2. That I am available to them if needed
    3. This is what they’ve trained for

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Beautiful, Matt. I love how intentional you are with the three things you want your team to know.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Thanks Michael. It took a long time to learn those.

        In the beginning I preferred to leave my team knowing three things:

        1. That I would probably correct their work anyway
        2. That they were dispensable
        3. I barely trained them but magically expected them to know everything

        • Rachel Lance

          Great transformation, Matt – would love to hear more on your journey.

          • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

            At the risk of sounding like a shameless self-promoter, that’s pretty much the focus of my blog. A large part of the content is “Here is how I was when I was a young punk leader and what I learned along the way.”

            If you read back some and going forward, you’ll see a theme…I became a leader not by choice but by circumstance, but rather than consider it a cool blessing, I considered it to mean that I was awesome and everyone else was not. I viewed it as “I had arrived…at the age of 25.”  I was unprepared, immature, and egotistical (among other things). 

            But the cool thing is…my extreme screw-ups on that side provide a stark contrast to the way I lead now. And a vivid learning opportunity for others. I’ve found that we usually don’t learn much from our own or others’ minor failures, only the monumental ones. I’ve got a lot of those, so I share them…and hopefully help others.

    • http://gauraw.com/ Kumar Gauraw

       Wow! Wonderful words of Wisdom. I loved your comment as much as I loved Michael’s post. Incredible!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Thanks Kumar!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Matt, I appreciate your insight on this one. Your comment makes me think of my wife’s boss, the head librarian at our local public library. When the boss takes a vacation, the staff continue to do their work well but the morale in the library rises.

      The boss was on vacation last week and everyone’s mood was much calmer, brighter. When the boss dropped in to “help” on Friday morning, the atmosphere immediately chilled.

      Starting with “I trust you” is a great place to start with those you serve as a leader. Wise move on your part.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Ouch. Yeah, a leader’s return should really be a neutral event. Happy to have the PERSON back, but no real change in morale, work ethic, or the like.

    • http://dannielsencompany.com/ Dan Nielsen

      It takes a courageous person to realize and openly admit that “I am the problem!” I applaud your courage and willingness to be accountable for your mistakes and to create an action plan for avoiding those same mistakes in the future!

      Way to go!

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Good bullet points, Matt. 

  • JeremiahZeiset

    It’s easier to say how I’d like people to feel when I leave their presence: “enabled” “loved” “respected” ” challenged to achieve” ” inspired” etc.

    How do they really feel? My weakness is that I don’t meet everyone where they’re at, instead more or less expecting the same from everyone. I think we must meet everyone where they’re at, and balance that with consistency on our part. Each person has something we can relate with, and can be loved, respected, inspired – if we take the time to find our who they really are.

    Jeremiah Zeiset
    LIFE SENTENCE Publishing

    • http://dannielsencompany.com/ Dan Nielsen

      I share that same desire, to leave people feeling “enabled, loved, respected, challenged to achieve, and inspired.”

      I had a humbling experience recently.

      A young lady who works with me asked me if I’d be willing to interview one of her friends who was looking for a job. I gladly agreed, since I have great trust and respect for this young woman, and knew that anyone she recommended would be made of similar material.

      Well, to make a long story short, I botched the interview. How did I, the interviewer, botch an interview? By bragging on that lady who works with me so much that I intimidated the person who I was interviewing into thinking they could never fulfill my expectations! I was trying to convey my trust, respect, and level of appreciation for this woman who is a friend of the person whom I was interviewing. While I might have done that, I went too far. I inadvertently conveyed that I was seeking idealistic, unreachable perfectionism. That this one employee was so good, nobody else could possibly match up.

      Well, needless to say, I discouraged, depleted, and ultimately scared away the applicant. I didn’t realize my mistake until several days later when that same young woman I was bragging on shared with me the perception her friend had gotten during the interview. I felt awful. But I can say that I’ve learned an important lesson. What we THINK we’re conveying might not actually be what we really ARE conveying.

      It’s important to try to think from the perspective of each unique individual with whom I’m interacting, and not assume that what or how I say something will be conveyed the same way to everyone!

      • JeremiahZeiset

        Wow. The upside to this, I am sure, is that you never repeated the situation. I convinced God shows us things like this in order to allow us to grow. I am far more deliberate in everything I say and do than I was even a year ago. Praise the Lord!

        • http://dannielsencompany.com/ Dan Nielsen

          I completely agree! “God shows us things like this in order to allow us to grow.” The trick is to realize it when it happens, and then to take things like this as opportunities to grow, as God intended!

      • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

         Dan, your story is all too familiar. Covey’s words on listening to people in such a way that they feel like they are being heard have been echoing in my head after reading this.

        • http://dannielsencompany.com/ Dan Nielsen

          Thanks for the reminder of Covey’s words. The world lost a very wise man this year.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Wow Dan. That’s all I got there man. Wow.

  • http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com/ Ann Musico

    Wonderful post and advice – I try always to be upbeat, positive and encouraging and especially working with people who are trying to lose weight – they can become so easily discouraged and frustrated with themselves.  One thing almost all have commented to me was that they didn’t feel criticized or condemned if they “messed” up and felt they could come to me and I would not discourage them but encourage them.  I always remind them of Romans 8:1 there is now no condemnation for us in Christ – and I won’t condemn them either!

    I hope to always do that in every interaction.  

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       A great verse to share in those situations, Ann.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Hmmmm I always saw it as “Since there is no condemnation in Christ, let me do it.” That didn’t work so well.

  • http://www.peterdehaan.com/ Peter DeHaan

    I want/hope/pray that after I’ve met with someone, they realize it was a safe place, know God was present, and feel encouraged to more forward.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Offering safety is a gift.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Adding that one Peter. I too want people to know God was present when meeting with me. 

      • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

         Tim, wow, that’s a powerful one. What does that look like for you?  I guess I’m looking for tips :)

        • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

          I try and pray before the meeting, pray for the person during meeting  and pray after meeting. 

          • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

             Thanks – that just came in handy in tough situation :)

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    I am very international in leaving people energized. My struggle is the balance of energizing a crowd and holding them accountable. The real change occurs on the side of accountability. That is also where people can get de-energized. Advice?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Accountability will actually energize people if they own the outcomes you are both after. It may be tough in the short-term, but it will serve everyone in the long-term.

      • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

        Michael – you are right. Sometimes you just need to hear it said by someone else.

  • Buckleyjohnc

    As a
    husband (of almost 30 years!), father of 4, friend, educator, minister, etc. I can
    truly say “influential impact” has been enormous through my life.
    It’s now playing out both exponentially and generationally! 

     

    Michael,
    I like how you mentioned, “The good news
    is that YOU get to decide what that impact will be. But first you have to
    become aware of your power. It is greater than you can possibly
    imagine”! 

    You are so right on with this statement! 

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Your decision is definitely powerful! 

  • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

    Wow Michael. This is the first time I have commented on one of your posts before even reading it. Actually it is the first time I have commented on any post before reading it.  That heading alone was super powerful and thought provoking.  And now I will go and read it. :o)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Donna. To be honest, I struggled with the title.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Is what @sociallysorted:disqus did even legal? Comment on a post before reading it? :)

  • http://chasinggoodness.com/ Robyn

    Great post Michael – I would submit and agree that it’s super important as a leader to be thoughtful and intentional on how we leave folks in our business…it’s also important to think about and remember outside of the office as well. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree, Robyn. Thanks.

  • Mike St. Pierre

    Michael, thanks for this reminder. I have a friend who looks you in the eye and makes you feel like you are the most important person in the world… that’s how I want folks to feel after I’ve spoken with them.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s so important. I like it when leaders do that too.

    • http://wp.me/p2yA90-1F John C. Buckley

      Mike, that’s something I’ve taught our children all their lives! Treat every person in front of you as the most important person in the world!

  • Bo Barron

    So tricky, really. It is such a balancing act to be truthful and loving with everyone while letting no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is edifying according to the need of the moment that it may give grave to those who hear (eph 4:29).

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    I had a boss that use to say you can leave your people, motivated, frustrated or ticked off.  In most cases that is up to the leader.

    They have to know I am there for them.  I can say that, but unless they have seen me act in that manner, the words fall flat.  I must have shown that I care about them and their growth.  Therefore, even at the end of a difficult conversation, they still trust that I am in it for them.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Your boss was right. I love thinking through what I need to be, say, and do to leave them motivated. Thanks.

  • http://www.ecofortunarealestate.mocality.com.ng/ Ife Uma

    This is a reminder of the enormous responsibilities we have as leaders to those we hope to inspire. It would take a high level of self- development and discipline for any leader to be able to leave people inspired, encouraged and energized 100% of the time.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    My dad was my greatest mentor. He always left people better than he found them. His positive attitude, great sense of humor, and deep down care for people really showed. I only hope I can come close to carrying on his legacy.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       “He always left people better than he found them.” What a legacy!

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

    One of our aims is for people to leave our home inspired to create something; that might mean cultivating their own creative gifts or cultivating new life in their relationships. As a teacher, I want my students, more than anything, to feel believed in.

    At work I’ve become aware of how often I use “busy” as a way to describe myself. I started to see how this affected me when I asked,”How are you?” and got the reply, “I’ve been really busy.” I was draining people when I use the b-word, and realized I was reinforcing a culture of busyness. So, in its place I’m trying to have a short list of 2 or 3 good things that are going on in my life. It’s like my short-conversation ammo; I’ve watched those change the whole tone of a conversation.

    • http://wp.me/p2yA90-1F John C. Buckley

      I agree Aaron. As educators, we are constantly influencing others on many levels by the littlest things we say and do!

      • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

         It can be a bit scary, having that kind of influence – but it’s good and there is always more grace available to us to leave a positive mark.

  • Jonathan Reitz

    This is a great thought, Michael.  I use a similar mentality as I work through an intake process with potential coaching clients.  After the second conversation (of a two conversation process), my frame of mind and energy level is the last piece of data I use to decide if this potential client and I are the right fit.  How am I feeling as I hang up the phone?

    So it works both ways!

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    Years ago I heard John Maxwell speak. He said when he’s in a conversation—at work, at a party, church whatever—he tries to never leave that conversation without adding value to the person he’s speaking with. I think about this constantly. Don’t always do it well, but try to make the people I speak with feel a bit more valuable, appreciated by the time our conversation ends. 

    • Jim Martin

      I like your last sentence, Michele.  What a great aspiration, to make the speak with feel a bit more valuable.  I want to remember that.  

    • Rachel Lance

      Wow, Michele. Wow.

  • Bruce Roller

    Wow, Michael! I’ve read the email posting several times this morning–reading the title over and over and letting it really hit home. I’m working my way to the blog posting and background material, but had to let you know that I am centered and energized by this. It is a perfect start to my day. Thank you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Bruce. I am so glad it was helpful.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I just had a positive experience last night–one where I left a meeting both encouraged and drained. I did a book talk at a church where I’ve spoken in the past.  Most had read my book. A few had not.

    Encouragement for me came in the Q & A period. People who’d read the book talked with an excitement. The few who hadn’t read it were motivated to buy it.

    Moments like that renew my energy as a communicator and a writer to continue the journey.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Keep creating and writing! Sounds like your walking in your calling TNeal.

  • Cherry Odelberg

    Now that’s a thought I can use, right now, today.  Off to work to meet people and leave them energized.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Glad the information was helpful.

  • http://www.setongod.com/ Joshua Tolan

    I always try my best to leave people encouraged. When I tutor, I try to encourage people to tackle the next question. But sometimes it becomes hard because of all the stressful things in life. But with God’s help, I can always be an encouraging face!

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Josh, I like that: “what’s the next big question?”

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I’m envious of you Josh. Being an encourager is hard work for me. Sounds like it comes pretty easy for you. Any suggestions on ramping up the encouragement?

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    My prayer is that I positively affect people more than I negatively affect them.  I usually can see when it’s negative, and as I grow older, I catch myself in the act of being negative and change, rather than seeing it after it’s too late and can do nothing about it.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      I am in the same boat, Jeff. 

  • Anne Peterson

    Loved this post. I’m told that people feel encouraged by me. It’s a win-win because I love encouraging others so I leave feeling good too! 

    I have been around those who could deplete. It’s a challenge to me to at least make an attempt to encourage. What they do with it is their responsibility.

    At the same time, I recognize the opportunity is there to withdraw from my account. So glad we serve a God who comforts us so we can comfort others. refreshes us so we can refresh others. A God who is all-sufficient because we’re not.

    I am taking a class with Jeff Goins. And it is wonderful! Can I just say Michael, thank you SO much. I heard about him through your blog.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Anne, what’s been your biggest takeaway from your class with Jeff? I was looking at it and it looks great.

    • Jim Martin

      Good point Anne.  It really is a win-win.  I experience this as well.

  • http://www.citizenjournalistnow.com/ Ron Ross

    This is especially true of sales people who must face rejection often by rude people. It takes some effort to leave a positive impact on negative people. How about a blog on “How to Leave a Positive Impact on Negative People.” If I wrote a book on the topic, do you suppose I could get it published?

  • http://dannielsencompany.com/ Dan Nielsen

    I had a new employee once tell me that she enjoyed working for me so much more than her previous boss. She said, “I can tell you actually care about what I think!” I was honored that she felt that way, but it also made me realize how important it is to pay attention to what you’re communicating and how it impacts those around you!

    Her previous employer obviously communicated that he didn’t really care about her feelings or place much confidence in her opinions. Whether he conveyed that through his words or actions – or in something he didn’t say or do – I don’t know. But I do know that somehow in the words, actions and attitude with which I engaged this new employee, she saw something different and positive in me, and that’s something I never want to forget or take for granted!

  • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

    Over the years I have encountered certain people that EVERYBODY loved and wanted to be around. I really want to be the person that others genuinely want to be around. I think it starts with showing people you genuinely care. 

    • Joseph Hughes

      Tim, I completely agree.  While reading this post and the comments, I’m thinking about the people I know who are the people everybody wants to be around.  I am looking at what positive characteristics they have and trying to be intentional about following them.  I want people to leave my presence and say, ‘That Joe is just a real genuine, positive guy.  I really need to spend more time with him.’

      • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

        Definitely.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Thanks Tim, that question is now going to be on my radar this week.

      • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

        Glad the question helped. 

    • Jim Martin

      Tim, as I read your comment, I thought about people whom I know who are like this.  These people have a way of being that is encouraging and compelling.  Like you, I want to be like them. 

  • Parthenia Fayne

    Great question! I am reading Maxwell’s Leadership 101 and this post goes along well with it. Thanks. 

  • Matthew B

    This reminds me of advise my mother gave me years ago when I had just started dating. She said: “Son, treat every girl like she is the most important woman in the world. Pay attention, and listen. When the date is over, she will remember how she felt when she was with you… Special, or unimportant. And that will affect your future relationship.”

    I took that advise, and tried to apply it to all interactions I have with people… And it definitely makes a difference!  Thanks for the great reminder!!  I’ll forward this to some of the men I coach…

    Matthew B. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Your mom was right!  

      Maya Angelo said it this way:  “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        This is such a great quote, John. I am posting it as a quote here on mu site. Thanks!

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Love it, Mike!

  • http://twitter.com/KrisHopes Kris Wood

    Excellent points! Sharing yet another of your posts.  This idea is also true at home…as we live out “what kind of people we really are”.  My family knows to take me aside when I have become driving force instead of leading force.  :)  Serving well. Yes. That’s what I aim for!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       It’s always nice to have those people who can coral us in when we get too far one way or the other. Glad to hear you have family that’s willing to do that for you.

  • Tracey L. Moore

    I try my best to encourage people and be a positive influence.  Everyone needs encouragement. I wrote a poem about it entitled, “The Gift of Encouragement.”
    THE GIFT OF ENCOURAGEMENT
     
    There is a gift that we can give
    Every single day we live.
    For it does not cost us a cent
    To give the gift of encouragement.
    We can brighten someone’s day
    By the kind words that we say.
    To give them hope when they are discouraged,
    Why not use our words to lift up and encourage?
    So many today are depressed and down,
    On their faces they wear a frown,
    A word of encouragement would make them smile
    If we’d only go that extra mile.
    Encouragement can make the difference
    When emotional clouds are dark and dense.
    When people are feeling sad and blue,
    That’s not the time for us to use
    Our words to kick them when they’re down,
    Encouraging words have a melodious sound.
    It’s virtually music to our ears,
    Encouragement is what everyone wants to hear.
    If before we speak we do not think,
    We could cause another’s heart to sink.
    So let’s seek to always use words that lift,
    Let encouragement to others be our gift.

    Tracey L. Moore

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      I LOVE this Tracey!  I just put it into my Evernote and printed/posted a copy on my office wall!

    • Jim Martin

      This is very, very good!  Thanks for posting this.

  • http://twitter.com/enciendelfuego Jose Garcia

    I always want others to feel inspire and energize, even when I have to confront them, I know this doesn’t sound very realistic but I don’t want to be a part of demotivating my team members.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Going in with the objectives to inspire and energize will ALWAYS create a better outcome!

  • http://salesheartbeat.com/ Alan

    It’s amazing how many leaders are either unaware of or just don’t care about the impact their communication style has on those around them.  I guess that’s why there are so many level one leaders.  

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Unfortunately, that’s true, Alan.  It makes it easy to raise the “leadership bar”. 

  • Marie-France Thibaudeau

    Just completed a webinar yesterday with Can-fit-pro on ‘understanding clients and participants – humann behavior and needs and you insight was not covered in this angle and I thank you for outlining it! Have a great day

  • Rachelle

    How can I be encouraging and inspiring when someone asks my opinion, but I don’t think their idea is good, or I have major reservations? How can I be honest about what I think but not come across in a negative way?

    • Jim Martin

      Rachelle, you raise a good question!  I have found it helpful to always look for something to affirm in another, especially if I have to express my disagreement with some aspect of what that person is presenting.  (At times, even finding one thing to affirm can be quiet challenging.)  

  • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

    John Maxwell taught me to “walk slowly through the crowd”.   It’s been one of the most effective tools to let people know that I care.   

  • http://morethanadventure.com/ Kurt Swann

    I remind myself everyone has their own internal life including doubt, hope, stress, plans, goals.  It doesn’t take much to boost people up by asking about their day and listening for an answer.  A smile, kind word, or calling people by their name are all valuable and are easy to do especially if we make it a habit.  I know how much I appreciate it when others treat me that way so I imagine other people feel the same.  

    Sometimes when I’m in a situation where I don’t know anyone, I pretend like I’m the host of a party where I want everyone to have a good time.  It works . . . :) 

    Kurt

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Kurt, I love your suggestion. When you pretend to be the host, how do you do this? Do you mingle between the guests, asking questions, showing interest, etc?

      • http://morethanadventure.com/ Kurt Swann

        Joe, yes, all of those things but no one would actually mistake me as being the “host.” :)   Mostly I just shift my focus from myself (woe is me, I don’t know anyone here) to being open to others.  I’m sure you’ve experienced this but people are generally receptive when we’re friendly and open without some agenda  . . . . Kurt

        • Rachel Lance

          Great perspective & strategy, Kurt. My instinct is usually to turn inwards and become a people-watcher, this seems like a helpful way to change the game in my head.

  • Lynn Hare

    I listen, listen, listen.  Offer reflective statements that show I genuinely care about the person. The next time I see them, I follow up and ask about the same topic.  People have amazing (and sometimes very tough) stories to tell.

     I often pray.  I don’t know all the answers, but I direct folks to dialogue with the One who does.

    • Jim Martin

      Lynn, great point.  So many people are hungry for someone who will genuinely listen.  

    • Rachel Lance

      Excellent point, Lynn. Listening with an open mind and heart is so important. Even a well-meaning assumption can leave someone feeling alienated, hurt, or frustrated.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I do my best to leave people feeling uplifted and ready to take on the world. This isn’t always my strongest area but I’m working on improving it. 

  • Lifemike

    God has been teaching me this. It is a fine line between catalytic and over the top sometimes. Thanks for the timely word!

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  • http://wkevingilbert.me/ Kevin Gilbert

    Unfortunately, that is a question I’ve never asked myself. However, it is one that I will now be more aware of, and focused on asking, going forward. Thanks for the challenge and for your leadership. You leave me thinking. Thinking about actions I need to take to improve myself so that I can server others better.

  • Bill Tadevich

    Good input – this leadership advice applies to parenting as well. How do we want to our children to feel when  leave the room? Enabled, motivated and inspired or the alternative?

  • http://twitter.com/joetbass Joseph Bass

    I needed to hear this message today. Thanks Michael.

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  • http://www.CFinancialFreedom.com Dr. Jason Cabler

    I think its highly important to be positive, upbeat, and on task, even when you don’t necessarily feel like it, because it really does rub off on other people.  Consistency is also important so that there is no wondering “what kind of mood is he in today?”

    Those are the two things that I’ve really tried hard to establish in my practice on a daily basis.  Not only does it keep the staff happy and upbeat, but the patients can sense the mood of the office too, and they don’t like it when they sense that bad mojo going on.

  • http://www.margaretfeinberg.com/ Margaret

    I want to be the type of person who refreshes and energizes people, not  the type who drains them–thanks for the challenge!

    • Jim Martin

      Margaret, I like the word “refresh.”  What a great aspiration!   This is a challenge to interact with others so that they leave our presence refreshed.

  • RicardoDiaz31

    I got more useful information from this short blog post then longer ones. This is just… true. I happen to work with many Pastors and Reverends all the time. I’m even close to many of them and they tell me how hard it is to keep up appearance with their flocks. 

    Watching their every word, action, movement, and comments about topics gets tiring. So I can understand there will be times when you will slip up and thats usually when you should have cared the most.

    A lot of what was said here can also be applied to fathers when it comes to their kids.

  • http://www.toddstocker.com/ Todd Stocker

    Great question for me especially since part of my personal mission statement is “… adding value  to those around me.”  John Maxwell always said that one of his goals after he meets people is to leave them feeling better about themselves than before he met them.  It’s actually not that hard to do and the side benefit is that I feel good about helping others feel good!

  • Jgiaconia

    This was very helpful! I just started using Evernote app on my phone voice to text to capture what i read and want to retain. I also bought Dragon but havent use it yet. Thank you.

  • Julie Swihart

    Sometimes when we leave a room, people aren’t necessarily either energized or depleted, but left with virtually no impact at all. My dad worked as a bagger at a grocery store when he was a teenager, and he said there were three types of customers: those who made him feel important/encouraged, those who left him feeling angry/frustrated, and those who left no impact on him at all because they didn’t smile, didn’t complain, didn’t do anything. He said most people fell into the third category, and you forget about those people. He said the ones you remember are from the first two categories, and he wanted to be in the first.

    Just wanted to point out that our impact on people can be positive or negative as you say, but also completely forgetful because we didn’t do much of anything.

  • http://www.leadingyourlife.net/ Jason Pulley

    I don’t know! I think this something I personally need to realize and work on. My day is hectic and have limited resources. I make myself take time for my direct reports but it is never enough or as effective as it should be due to daily demands. I do know taking a step backwards to set the right environment will Increase our effectiveness. It is just easier said than done sometimes. Thanks for the thoughts and I will take it with me Monday morning.

  • Holly G

    I agree completely that we need to be aware of how we leave people.  Your post however, has also made me evaluate how I enter a group.  My husband and I teach an adult Sunday School class.  I direct a Mom’s group as well as participate on several committees.  All of these are volunteer, ministry positions.  
    I usually arrive at Sunday School or the meeting and are on task.  I have things to do and am effective at getting them done.  However, am I letting those in my class know that I’m glad to see them?  Am I letting my leadership team of the Mom’s group know that I value them and the work they have done preparing?  I hope that I do by the end of our meeting, but your post has made me thing about recognizing them first, so that I set them up for a productive and meaningful meeting.  I would set a better tone by letting them know they are of value first.  
    So the question to myself is “What do I need to do, so that my focus  is on people first, rather than tasks?”
    This is something I also need to apply to my children.  Do I make them feel important and loved, or am I just in ‘task’ mode to get things accomplished?

    • Jim Martin

      Holly, you raise some great questions regarding the groups that you are involved with.  Your questions were helpful to me as I thought about these same issues.  Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/billhornband Bill Horn

    This subject is so important, yet it is often overlooked. 

    I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned already, but Henry Cloud’s book, “Integrity” has some great material on this subject as well. He calls it our “wake,” and says that we can understand our own character better by looking at our wake. I highly recommend “Integrity” for anyone looking to grow and develop his or her character. Few books have challenged me more.

    Michael, thank you for continuing to give us valuable content. I believe we are all better off as a result.

    • Jim Martin

      Thanks for the book recommendation.  I have been blessed a number of Henry Cloud’s books.  Thanks for mentioning this one.

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  • http://twitter.com/landrewchalmers Andrew Chalmers

    My biggest struggle is being so overwhelmed with the tasks at hand that when people I am leading come to me with a question I rarely stop to acknowledge their need and simply just give them a quick answer. I really appreciate this reminder and want to be more intentional in leaving people energized, encouraged and inspired!

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  • http://christopherbattles.net/ Christopher Battles

    Just the title/first few lines got my attention.
    Thank thee Michael.
    It makes me think if I am presenting the way I really want to be.
    This is almost a Seth Godin length blog. Ha Nice to change page a bit.

    K, bye

  • http://www.davidsollars.com/ David Sollars

    Start at the end and work towards the goals you already envision as being done. A leader’s vision and presence prep them for the whole body communication that occurs with the team. As they said in Cool Hand Luke, “You gots to get your head right.” and “What we have here is a failure to communicate!” These iconic cinema moments showcase the need for leaders to show up for every encounter with the team.

  • joewickman

    Hello Michael,

    I think this type of truth is precisely why it’s so difficult to determine aptitude and life success.

    When I attended my daughter’s lacrosse yesterday, I observed the players. Some were highly skilled, others just beginning. Some will find success on the field due to their skill, while other will excel in other areas of their life will build into the team by honing more than their mastery of physical skills.

    The components that make you an effective teammate are sometimes intangible. At least, that’s my theory, and that’s what I’m banking on in my own leadership journey.

    Thanks for the post.

    — Joe

  • http://jrjarvis.com/ Joshua Jarvis

    This another good reminder and a great challenge for anyone calling themselves a “leader.”

  • Gtredgold

    This is very important, but its also very difficult.
    We need to remember that we are leaders 24 hrs a day 7 days a week.
    Every encounter needs to be a positive encounter and leave our people feeling better, especially about themselves

  • Nikki Buckelew

    I often get compliments that are very humbling as I part ways with people. On one hand it makes me feel great and I feel so blessed to have made them felt good. It is hard sometimes to know how to respond. So I usually just respond by saying “thank you.” And that I appreciate the compliment and am glad I could positively impact them.