“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’”
Mary Kay Ash, the incredibly successful American businesswoman not only made this statement a million times; she built her entire business around this crucial concept. By consistently living, modeling, mentoring, teaching, preaching and reinforcing this crucial concept, Mary Kay not only became phenomenally successful in business, she became an inspirational leader, particularly for women, all over the world.
Every person reading this article has heard various renditions of this quotation over and over again. Awareness and knowledge of this basic human need and desire is not new. However, if one closely examines the minute-by-minute actions of most people… and most leaders, both within and outside a business setting, consistent application of this crucial concept is rare and sometimes nowhere to be found.
Talk is cheap. Quotations, even excellent quotations with deep and lasting advice and meaning, are a dime a dozen. Application is another matter. Consistent minute-by-minute application is even more rare and difficult. Our lives, our actions, our habits are not lived by the year, month, week, day, or even by the hour. Our lives are lived second-by-second and minute-by-minute. If a desired behavior does not happen within the seconds and minutes we have the opportunity to live, it will never happen!
There is only one way to most effectively implement, apply and benefit from Make Me Feel Important… this crucial success principle in all of our lives. We must make, Make Me Feel Important, a high priority habit that is as important as getting up in the morning, dressing, eating, making a living, raising our families or sleeping. Making others feel important should be at the very core of who we are, how we live and how we relate to and communicate with the rest of the world.
Make Me Feel Important will never consistently happen, in your life or mine, unless it becomes a strong, highly engrained, virtually automatic way of living… a habit. See, “Make Good Habits and Become Their Slave“ for more on the power of habits in our lives.
I recently wrote an article titled, “A Blueprint for Success: The Life, Leadership and Legacy of Marlowe Senske“. One of the reasons Marlowe was so cherished, respected, admired and loved by literally thousands of healthcare executives and others in his life was that he made everyone around him feel important. His sincerity was obvious. He truly thought and acted like everyone was important… because they are! Every single person who gave a tribute at Marlowe’s funeral mentioned this incredibly powerful characteristic, which made Marlowe so successful. Marlowe was also a world class listener. Why? Because he thought everyone was important. And they are! So he asked great questions and then sincerely listened. There is no higher compliment, no better way to make people feel important than to sincerely and respectively listen.
“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’” Internalize this concept such that it becomes a part of the very core of who you are. Make it a strong, consistent and life-long habit. Don’t just nod in agreement. Do it. Make it happen. You and every single person in your life will benefit immensely!