Being / Feeling Valued: The Power of Strokes

Abhishek Paul
2 min readMar 6, 2019

“People have a deep need to feel that they matter. As leaders, we have a unique opportunity to let them know that they do.” — Bob Chapman, CEO Barry-Wehmiller

I wanted to see if this was true in my career and not just something that looks good on a poster. Had I been told/shown that I mattered in my workplace? Thankfully I didn’t have to think too long (that would’ve been depressing). Here’s a couple of examples that show that this need not necessarily have to be a big production, but just simple, thoughtful and consistent actions by those who are leading us.

DC who was a mentor / manager would always refer to me as “his senior colleague” when interacting with clients. This despite being over 2 decades my elder. He would do it diligently and sincerely every time. You can imagine the confidence that gave me.

VB used to call me personally to share department updates, though there was a manager between us. As a department head sitting in a different geography, I didn’t expect him to do this and that made me feel all the more valued. He would explicitly state that he wanted me to hear any news of significance personally from him and I admired him for that.

Thinking back on personal incidents like this, I am more convinced than ever that Bob is onto something powerful. I wish this were the norm rather than the exception. Wouldn’t it be great if we work in teams and with people where we were left in no doubt that we are genuinely valued? And while we wait for leaders, cultures like this, what can we do to let those around us know they are valued?