Life has become fast! Everywhere you turn people are cramming more stuff into their already overflowing days. In the workplace it’s even worse. I meet thousands of business men and women who are more stressed out than ever in their jobs. One of the down sides to that is our tendency to pass that stress on to our team in the way of yelling, and griping, and finding them always doing something wrong.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where we long for man’s approval. Whether it be a team member wanting the approval of their leader, a leader wanting approval from a team, or a daughter wanting the approval of her father. You can go on and on with the scenarios, the point is, we all want approval. And when all we get is strife, it makes it just that much more important to us.
Think back to when you were a kid and you just wanted someone to tell you how great of a job you were doing. Or how much you wanted someone to come along side of you, put their arm around you, and tell you that they were proud of you. The crazy thing is, those feeling never go away. For the rest of our lives we are wanting someone to be proud of us. More importantly, we prefer that someone be a person of influence in our lives.
Because of that, many of us have a tendency to do things to get that approval. We’ll go out of our way to serve in a way that should make people notice. Or dress a certain way that will bring attention that seems like approval. For some, they will even lie or hide things in an attempt to garner that which seems so needed for their life.
And while we may even recognize that we are human and we struggle with this pain in the backside issue, for some reason we don’t always realize that we’re not alone. Why? Because the need for approval is a selfish need. Therefore, it’s more difficult to think about those around us who need it as well.
As a leader….heck, as a parent, an older sibling, or even a friend, we have to spend time understanding that people want to hear encouraging words from us just like we do from them. Our team, our family, our children want that same experience that we want, of someone putting their arm around them and saying how proud they are. Why do we not think to do that? Perhaps it’s because we’re waiting for it to happen to us.
So stop! Quit waiting for someone to come make your day. Instead, go make someone else’s. Go find at least two people today and give a little love. Now, it has to be sincere. Trust me, they will know otherwise. I think you will find two amazing things. First, how good it feels to show someone how much you admire and care for them. Second, it won’t take long before some of that love is returned.
Eh, what do I know. I could totally be wrong. But I’m not, so go do it.
Question: How have you noticed the people on your team needing your attention?
23 thoughts on “Do You Approve Of My Life?”
So, so true. We all need to give hugs, whether they be mental, physical, emotional or all three. I do get a bit tired of people in a relationship who only take them for themselves and never feel the need to give back. I was taught respect was a two way street, that’s why it’s called re spect from the Latin to look back at. Another great blog Chris, thanks
I didn’t know that’s what it meant. Thanks Greg!!
I can still remember high school teachers telling me years ago that they were proud of me. I think it stuck out because it was just so sincere when they said it. It means little when it’s frivolous words.
So I think the first step for me is to really think of why I admire and respect and am proud of people. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons, and dwelling on those could make me more authentic in my delivery.
Heck yeah! I love it Loren!!
Great action item for today! Here are the results:
– Said “good morning” to a coworker who is not particularly friendly. She seemed very surprised, but said hello back with a smile. I think it means “Wow, somebody knows I’m here!”
– Gave a sincere compliment to another coworker who has been particularly challenging in the past few weeks. Got a very surprised look and a quick “thank you” back. We’re making progress.
So here are my two next “affirmation notes for the day”
– To all the blog followers who post their comments here: you guys are great. Your insight and passion inspire me.
– To Chris: your leadership rocks! Thanks for great posts and for hosting this space to build community.
Lily….YOU’RE AMAZING!!!! I love having you and the rest of the commenters onboard!!!!
And one day we shall meet at an EntreLeadership event. It needs to go on the budget so I can save up for it 🙂
Do it Lily, you will never regret it! I went to EntreLeadership November 2009 and it has been one of the highlights of my life!
Back at ya!
This is true. I remember coming to the Nashville Entreleadership, as I walked in you (Chris) came up and gave me a quick hug and said something positive (I don’t remember what) to me in front of my team members that were there. I am not a hugger and rarely show any soft emotions so I was a little freaked out but as you see I am commenting on it now a year later. That tells you how impactful it can be.
That’s awesome brother!!
One of the coolest things about this is you don’t have be the so called leader. If you’re on a team, do this! It actually positions you as a leader amongst your peers. Lateral relationships are as important as vertical ones. They may be more important actually.
Spot on Joel!!
The way the people on my team show me they need attention – Kaweah Kitty keeps jumping on the drawing table, on my lap, on the back of my chair, and sometimes she squeezes underneath the lamp that lights and magnifies my work. Zeke The Large Cat just complains loudly.
I might need new team members.
Seriously, your point about the need for approval being a selfish need is spot on. Great post!
Giving your attention and encouragement to your family and followers is so important. For leaders who encourage and uplift their people the people will in turn be more motivated and produce more. It’s a win win situation.
I need to start a business with the commenters on this blog. You guys actually get it. 🙂
Chris, I think the more we understand that we want approval ourselves and what we are doing to “get it” the more we deliver it. The more we understand we make mistakes, the more we can step in and encourage. The more we look in our team members eyes and see pain, confusion, frustration, and listen, the more we can point out the things we appreciate. I am not saying it is always easy…my industry requires accuracy every time. I get frustrated with lack of the attention to detail by my team, but I have to reinforce why it is important and thank them for something in the project. Each incident that happens, I try to learn. I am not perfect, but I want to strive to be better, as a leader, a friend, a colleague a strategic business partner. Your posts help me in ways you will never know Chris.
And THAT means a lot to me!!!!
There are always emotional needs and we need to understand what it means to be and feel loved and valued by the significant people in our lives.
One should take a close-up look at being accepted and appreciated by others and the quality of our emotional bonds and connectedness to others as well as the impact of these bonds on one’s self-esteem. When we show genuine appreciation, we are making a giant leap into our journey towards emotional fulfillment.
Wow! That was really well put Uma!!
Giving your attention and encouragement to your family and followers is so important. For leaders who encourage and uplift their people the people will in turn be more motivated and produce more.
You are doing such a great job, Chris! This team would not function without you. Keep it up!
I have definitely noticed that people I work with need approval. I need to work on giving others encouragement and positive feedback. When I do, they do tend to improve their performance. Thanks for the reminder, Chris.