Tell Me You Want Me

I’m not afraid to admit it…I like country music.

(I’ll give you time to judge me before you read on…)

The song “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes resonates with many on a personal level but in reality, it can be applied to our professional lives as well.

  • Think of Employee Engagement and how feeling wanted is a strong motivator.
  • Think of Employee Satisfaction and how feeling wanted equates to feeling important, desired, and coveted.
  • Think of Recognition and how showing someone he/she is wanted is a valuable feedback activity.
  • Think of Leadership and how we need to ensure our staff feel appreciated and indeed, wanted.
  • Think 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 feeling is a basic sentiment we learn when we are young. Knowing someone truly wants you gives you a sense of wholeness. (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 my competition.

The result?

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 liked working and being around him because 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.

The result?

The feeling of being wanted was addicting 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.

Why not make a commitment today – to our staff, colleagues, clients or customers?

Whether it be through our actions or our words, let’s make them feel wanted.

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