What Will People Say About How You Made Them Feel?

Maya Angelou Quote

April 2020

Written by: Natalie Forward, Managing Director

I love what I do.  Connecting with organizations and helping them solve complex people challenges is energizing, rewarding and impactful work.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to positively influence the selection and development of employees, as well as the cultures and organizational design where these folks work.  If you haven’t considered a career in the human capital space, I’d highly recommend checking it out.

BUT, if I wasn’t in this line of work, I’d either be a preschool teacher, a Food Network Star (we will cover that later in another blog), or a motivational speaker.  Earlier in my career, I spoke on tips, tricks, and strategies on successful ways to network...you know the ability to walk into a room, quickly make a meaningful connection with someone and turn that into either a conversation or a commitment to meet again.  The whole foundation of those previous speaking engagements was “be memorable”.

Being memorable doesn’t imply that you need to be the loudest, funniest, smartest, or strangest person in the room.  I suppose people wouldn’t forget you if you were some or all those things, but that’s not what I am talking about.  It’s about being authentic and professionally helpful to others. 

Today, I find myself in the middle-to-end of my career, and this theme of “being memorable” is at the forefront of my mind again.  This time around, it's not about “working the room” for me,  but rather I'm more focused on, what do the people that I’m connecting with really need right now?

This pandemic has given many of us the gift of time to become more introspective.  With no soccer practices, dance recitals, networking events, board meetings or exercise classes that traditionally fill up our nightly schedules,  it has allowed us some quiet space to just...think.

I’m thinking about how my current and prospective clients (as well as my my family, friends, colleagues and neighbors) will remember me and our interactions over this stretch of time.  Did I provide a listening ear, words of comfort and encouragement, a handwritten note, a funny joke, a warm meal, a walk outside (six feet apart), a referral to a business partner, the hyperlink to helpful webinar, or just the opportunity to vent about a work issue? 

I hope so.  That’s my goal now, and it feels good.

It reminds me of one of my all time favorite quotes from Maya Angelou.

"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."

How will your business & social community remember you? More importantly, how did you make them feel?