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By Kay Hannaford

How do you make people feel?

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Maya Angelou

It’s very hard to see ourselves as others see us and to understand how we make others feel. How would it be if we could decide how we would like to make people feel and then accomplish that?

As a coach and mentor, I would like my clients to feel safe and supported; excited about seeing things differently; confident about themselves and their decisions and optimistic that anything is possible.

It’s not uncommon to spend lots of time and money on branding, logos, websites, brochures, blogs, awareness campaigns and social media. Yet it can all be wasted if the people they are intended to serve are left to feel nothing, or worse, something negative.

I recently sent flowers to a friend in hospital in Germany (I wanted her to feel loved and cherished). The first website I found looked promising but was impossible to use. After choosing flowers and a card and meticulously copying the name, address and message to all the appropriate fields THREE times, my cart was still empty each time I proceeded to the checkout. So, feeling frustrated and annoyed, I gave up. The next website (aquarelle.de) offered the same flowers at the same price and was easy to use. Mission accomplished in half the time AND they even sent a photo of the actual bunch being delivered before it was despatched. How did I feel? Very happy and satisfied.

Shopping with my husband in warm Brisbane recently, one sales assistant asked if we would like some sparkling water.Surprised and delighted, I immediately accepted. He declined but was led to a comfortable couch while I tried on a shirt. In the change room I found a cold glass of sparkling water sitting on its own little purpose built shelf. How did I feel? Sovalued and cared-for I bought three items (I wasn’t intending to buy anything).

Two new businesses have opened in our neighbourhood recently. One, a cafe and bar, makes great coffee and sells beautiful cakes (the only things I’ve tried so far) but missed a golden opportunity on opening day to make patrons feel welcome and excited. Conversely, at the new hardware warehouse, staff stationed at the entrance gave us a huge smile and said ‘welcome to Bunnings’. How did we feel? Like we owned the place (especially when we found the compost bins before the staff did!)

I wouldn’t be surprised if cookbook author Teresa Cutter’s new book The Healthy Chef: Purely Delicious is flying off the shelves. In a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, she wrote “I love sharing my recipes and I hope you will also enjoy cooking them for your family and friends to feel happy, healthy and nourished”.

If we were to ask ourselves, “How do I want my clients/partner/team/child to feel?” instead of “What do I want them to understand about me/what I do or want them to do?” we might be surprised at the answers we come up with  – and our ability to achieve the outcomes we want.

This post first appeared at www.kayhannaford.com/insights


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