I’m not afraid to admit it…I like country music. I don’t like “classic” country unless it involves a bit of bluegrass…but I do like “today’s” country and find myself listening to it in the car, at my FroYo shoppe, while I clean the house, etc.
A few months ago, I heard for the first time “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes and immediately the song resonated with me on a personal level. I won’t go into the details of that LBJ (long boring story) but know this…I listened to it over and over again!
Anyway, I heard the song this morning and, being in a better emotional state, listened to it from a different perspective…from that of the workplace.
- I thought of Employee Engagement and how feeling wanted is a strong motivator.
- I thought of Employee Satisfaction and how feeling wanted equates to feeling important, desired, and coveted.
- I thought of Recognition and how showing someone he/she is wanted is a valuable feedback activity.
- I thought of Leadership and how I need to ensure my staff feel appreciated and indeed, wanted.
- I thought of Teamwork and how everyone needs to feel a sense of purpose, a sense of inclusion – they need to know their teammates want them around.
Everyone wants to feel wanted!
(This is not to be confused with self-importance but instead, it should be thought of as feeling “complete.”)
I think the feeling of being wanted is a high…it’s euphoric, and perhaps even addicting! (I’d do quite a bit to keep that feeling, wouldn’t you?)
Powerful stuff indeed!
To illustrate this point, I offer two stories.
Years ago, I had a boss who wasn’t the nicest person on the planet; she had an extremely short temper combined with a strong hankering for perfection. On top of all of that, she struggled a bit with clearly communicating her expectations.
However, she consistently let me know she wanted me on her team, she regularly told me she appreciated my thoughts and hard work, and she often told me she was happy she chose me over the competition.
Regardless of what went wrong on any given day, I didn’t give up, I didn’t get resentful, I didn’t think of greener pastures, etc. I knew I was wanted…it was the drug that kept me satisfied.
Likewise, I once had a colleague who was the biggest pain in the butt. He was a bit self-inflated, he managed time about as well as I manage my caloric intake, and he was always talking about the latest video games. Annoying and obnoxious, that’s what he was and most people avoided him.
I didn’t. I had no interest in stroking his ego, enabling his work or learning about video games but I liked working and being around him. He said thank you in creative ways such as “I am glad you were around to help me with that” or “I’m thankful for your brain.” He had funny ways of telling me that his work benefited from my insight.
It was quite addicting, that feeling of being wanted, and I helped him out as much as I could.
Being wanted by someone, whether it’s a supervisor, a colleague, an employee, a client, etc., is a mighty thread. As long as the connection remains, you’ll always have something motivating you, pushing or pulling you to “do” something for that person.
But what happens when the thread is broken?
What happens when someone stops wanting you, or stops making you feel wanted?
Consider how many times we hear the following…
- My supervisor is playing “favorites”!
- It doesn’t matter” how hard I work because my boss won’t notice anyway.
- My manager is trying to push me out of this organization!
- My teammates are leaving me out.
I think these feelings are stemming from needing, but not feeling wanted.
And I think we should do something about it.
I am making a commitment today – to my staff, colleagues, clients and customers. Whether it be through my actions or my words,
I want to make them feel wanted.