Over the years I have learned a powerful truth I would like to share with you. Inside every person, regardless of importance, fame, or future is a real person who needs to feel “felt.” As leaders, when we satisfy that need we are well on our way to connecting in meaningful ways.

Making someone feel “felt” simply means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. I know that is so basic, well folks, it is sticking to the basics that usually wins championships and grows businesses. So many times in our busy day-to-day lives we are too fragmented to take the time to connect and make them feel “felt.”

Psychologists refer to a concept called mirror neurons. This when you “mirror” what another person feels, the person is wired to mirror you in return. To do this, you simple say, “I understand what you’re feeling.”  What I have found is we don’t need an advanced psychology degree to ask deeper and better questions in an effort to gain  feeling. Try some of these when appropriate:

Attach an emotion.  “I’m trying to get a sense of what you’re feeling and I think it’s________(fill in the emotion.)  Is that correct?”  An example, if frustrated say ” How frustrated are you?” Stay quiet and listen carefully with your eyes, as they will serve as a connector device. Further ask, “What needs to happen for that feeling to go away?”

I believe you get the idea. When the person tells you what he or she feels, find out what’s causing the feeling and what needs to be different. Let’s keep working on making them feel felt.