I am a firm believer in telling people what you think, if it is positive, and not keeping it to yourself. If you think someone is doing a great job, then tell them. If you appreciated something others have done, let them know. However, we do not do this nearly as often as we should.
While it may be uncomfortable for some people to express emotions in this way, we live in the age of modern technology. This means we have many ways to communicate with people that should help it be a little less awkward. These simple ways to let them know they are special, and to make them feel appreciated, require little effort on your part and might make a difference in their day.
How you can make others feel special
Here is a list of ways in which you can make someone feel special. These suggestions will help you compliment something physical, a personality trait, or their spirit. You never know the words someone needs to hear, but your compliment should always be genuine, so pick what feels right!
1. Compliment something about their appearance
Even though it is not what we should focus on, people love when we compliment something about their appearance. So, if they are wearing a nice new sweater or a great scarf, say something.
2. Let them know how much you appreciate them
Let them know something that they have done that has made a difference in your life, or made things easier for you. Sharing how much it meant to you, will let them know how much you appreciate them.
3. Encourage their dreams
If they are on the fence about trying something or taking a big step, let them know you believe in them, and think they can do it.
4. Encourage them to take care of themselves
If they do not take time for self-care, encourage them to do some. Let them know that while they have responsibilities, their well-being should be one as well. They do so much for others, they should be sure to take care of themselves.
5. Give them public credit
Give them public credit for something they have helped with or done well. Make sure that others are aware of their important contributions.
6. Give them your undivided attention
Listen to them when you can tell they are feeling down or need to get something off their chest. Give them your undivided attention so that they know they are the priority to you right now, and that you care about what is on their mind.
7. Show them you are all human
If they can open up and be vulnerable with you, be vulnerable with them in return. This lets them know you are all human; insecure and afraid. Also, it might make them realize they are not alone in how they are feeling.
8. Share your resources and tools with them
This is actually a big one because, in the work world, people are so possessive and secretive about resources they have gathered. This will really make the person feel special and important to you.
9. Support them in what they are doing
Offer to help them with some extensive project that is a great deal of work, and will probably be overwhelming. They will appreciate that you made the offer from the start, and not at the point they were drowning. It shows your interest and support in what they are doing.
10. Give them a secret “congratulations” gift
Put something you know they like in a desk drawer where they will find it. It shows support and makes it something that is secret and special between the two of you. It shows that this token was truly about them, and not getting credit for doing something nice.
11. Ask them to do something with just the two of you
Go for coffee, a drink, dinner. This lets them know you care about them as a person, and that you want to spend time with them outside of work focusing on other things that matter to them.
Making others feel special betters their world
There are so many other ways that you can show someone they are special and appreciated. Be creative and think of ones that fit and are comfortable for you. Think about what you would appreciate if the shoe was on the other foot.
Every person wants to be acknowledged, cared about, and listened to. Some of the best employees, supervisors, and people have a strong emotional IQ, which these activities represent. The more someone feels special and capable, the more they will excel in what they do, and the more they will enjoy being part of the workplace.
If everyone, or even most people, took on this mentality, then people would be more willing and to be part of the work environment. Employees would feel that they matter and that their contributions are genuinely noticed and appreciated. They would feel special, instead of just being a cog in the wheel. It might even make them more open to brainstorming, asking for help, and help them be more innovative. They are more willing to try things they may have been previously hesitant to do, as they feel supported.
When we help to make people feel special, we are bettering their world. Many times, we do not know what is going on in someone’s life. The kindnesses that we show them may mean the world to them and maybe the bright and shining spot they have. Doesn’t that seem worth it?