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How to Know a Person

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Do your employees feel valued, heard, and understood? 

Excessive turnover might be an indication they do not. Other red flags are lousy morale, poor attendance, and a hostile workplace environment. Owners and managers might overlook these dynamics, but when revenue is down and what money does trickle in is unprofitable, they know there’s an issue.  

“Beatings will continue until the morale improves” is no longer a viable strategy. Yikes! Was it ever? 

Let’s examine this from another perspective.  

I’ve studied great leaders and successful business owners for a long time. I’ve never encountered a great leader who didn’t cite at least one person who believed in them.  

Do you want your employees to excel in the workplace? Then you need to believe in them. 

What does it require for you to believe in someone? You need to know and understand them along with the value that they bring.

Every employee needs to feel valued, heard, and understood. If you run a large organization, your managers are the ones who interact on the front lines with your people. Value, hear, and understand them first. Then, they can do the same with their reports. 

Annual Reviews are so 20th Century 

We’ve been anesthetized into believing that meeting with our employees once per year to discuss performance, career, and professional ambition is enough. Step back from the rat race momentarily and think about that preposterous notion!  

What Gallup Has to Say 

Gallup Inc. has the largest database on management in history. No other entity can match its research/data collection experience. Here is how Gallup’s chief scientist, Jim Harter, answers this statement: Define the most important habit of great managers. 

One meaningful conversation per week with each team member. 

What is a meaningful conversation? Focusing on the employees’ goals. 

Gallup believes focusing on goals leads to customer retention, team collaboration, recognition, and wellbeing.  

The weekly conversation is one of five coaching conversations Gallup recommends managers have with their team throughout the year (Included in the book It’s the Manager.) The old annual review is not one of them.  

Humans First 

While Gallup recognizes that focusing on employee goals leads to well-being, that view is often viewed as a business-first, human-second proposition.  

Start with humans. Start by reading the book How to Know a Person by David Brooks.

Brooks says, 

“There is one skill that lies at the heart of any healthy person, family, school, community organization, or society: the ability to see someone else deeply and make them feel seen—to accurately know another person, to let them feel valued, heard, and understood.” 

Then, move to business. The art of seeing others is the foundation on which Management 101 is built! 

Every manager and leader in your organization should read and apply these books in the following order: 

  1.  How to Know a Person 
  2. It’s the Manager 
  3. Culture Shock 
  4. Wellbeing at Work 

It’s the Manager, Culture Shock, and Wellbeing at Work, written by Jim Clifton, a former Gallup CEO, and Jim Harter, Gallup’s Chief Scientist of Workplace and Wellbeing, provide a post-COVID workplace update.  

Are your employees working with their strengths every day? If not, that’s one more red flag against feeling valued, heard, and understood.  

Gallup was an industry pioneer in strength-based assessment, development, and training—and it still is. A portion of It’s the Manager explains their 34 CliftonStrengths Themes. The book also includes a code to unlock the free online CliftonStrengths Assessment. All three Gallup books here contain short chapters, making them the perfect topic for manager meetings. 

Do your employees feel valued, heard, and understood? Start checking in with them weekly to find out! 

Dave Rothacker
Latest posts by Dave Rothacker (see all)

Posted In: Employee Training, Leadership & Planning, Leadership Development, Soft Skills, Uncategorized

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