“There is something different about reading these powerful words on a piece of paper. I feel seen, heard, and valued. My manager has provided positive feedback in passing but it is so much more impactful to have words I can read, digest, and come back to again, especially on my hard days.”

We were exploring one of my client’s 360 feedback report and her eyes literally lit up when she “read” her manager’s words.

There are two powerful lessons here –

🎉 Let your people know you believe in them – Take the time to let people know you care, they matter, and that you trust them. Do this intentionally, ideally, write a note outside of a traditional performance review, delight them with a handwritten note, and send it in the mail. Record a voice note letting them know how much you appreciate them when they are least expecting it.

🎉 Inspire them to see beyond the ordinary – There was something different about this manager’s words. Not only did he acknowledge and celebrate his direct report for her accomplishments, he was inviting her to dream beyond what she thought was possible. And then, he was willing to do the work as a manager – invest in her (e.g. – pay for coaching), open doors for her, and advocate for her in the organization.

🥉 And here’s a bonus tip – Acknowledge your people not just for their accomplishments but also for who they are as leaders and humans. Remind them of their strengths and superpowers that transcend the organization. If the executive team decides to eliminate that role, this person will always leave knowing that you, as their manager, believed in them even if you couldn’t save their job.

After all, this is the essence of being a true leader – Recognizing that you are successful when the people around you grow & and contribute in ways that are meaningful to them.

Pic Credit: Clay Banks

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