Do you see me? Do you really “see” me?
Many people look but don’t see, glance with a blind eye, or cast looks that miss the mark. Human beings need to be “seen,” and this seeing takes many forms. This holiday season I’m particularly passionate about what it means to see someone for who they are as a person.
Research on personality differences and motivational needs has shown that about 30% of the North American population primarily desires to be recognized for who they are as a person – to know that “you like me for me.” Called Harmonizers, these people are compassionate, sensitive, and warm. They go to great lengths to create harmony and ensure people feel cared for an nurtured.
The holidays can be wonderful time for these people if they have opportunities to be with loved ones. It can be miserable if there’s strife and conflict in families or at work. So how can each of us show the Harmonizers in our life that we truly see them?
Recognition of personhood means to notice, appreciate, accept, and value the person for who they are, no strings attached. If you know someone who needs this type of recognition, try affirming them like this:
“I appreciate you.”
“It’s OK to take care of you.”
“I love you.”
“Your feelings matter to me.”
Another way to motivate these people is to notice and appreciate their character strengths, because they rely on their strengths every day to help others. Examples might include:
“You are so thoughtful and caring.”
“Thank you for the card. That meant a lot.”
“Your warmth makes our home a place where people love to be.”
How you spent your time with Harmonizers sends a powerful message. Time spent just being together with no agenda may be difficult for others, but valuable for Harmonizers. Sensory comforts like eating good food together, going for a walk, or the gift of a massage can also be great ways to nurture the Harmonizer in your life.
Beware of strings attached
If you give recognition but it’s focused on performance, work, or other behavior, it sends the message, “you are only valuable because of what you do.” Examples include;
“I appreciate you for working so hard.”
“I love you because you always keep the house clean.”
“Thank you so much for making coffee every day.”
These messages may appear like compliments, but they send the unintended message that a person is only worthy because of his or her deeds. Hearing that, I may wonder what other conditions are attached, “What happens if I don’t work hard, or the house is messy some days, or I forget to make coffee?”
Harmonizers give of themselves because of their big hearts, and accept others unconditionally. What a wonderful example for this holiday season! I encourage you to fill their tanks with authentic recognition of person absent of judgment and conditions. Doing this will bring out their best selves, build trust, and improve performance.
Each personality type has unique motivational needs that must be met positively for optimal functioning. We train trainers and leaders to do this.
Follow @NextNate on Twitter
Connect with Nate on LinkedIn