Communicate “You Matter”

(Blog 7) The second piece in building Positive Culture is to Communicate ‘You Matter.”

Check out the quick video on Communicating ‘You Matter’:

Human beings long to matter to others. We long to belong, feel needed, feel validated, feel important, and so on. When we intentionally communicate to those around us that they matter,…potential explodes and we see the best versions of each other.

How can we intentionally communicate ‘You Matter’ to people in our families, schools, workplaces, and communities? Take a look at the following ideas:

When someone Helps You Succeed, how do you feel?

-You feel like ‘You Matter’

When someone Listens to Understand you, how do you feel?

-You feel like ‘You Matter’

When someone Values your Differences, how do you feel?

-You feel like ‘You Matter’

When someone uses your NAME when they greet you, how do you feel?

-You feel like ‘You Matter’

When someone lets your VOICE be heard, how do you feel?

-You feel like ‘You Matter’

When someone makes you feel like you BELONG by inviting you to sit with him or her at lunch, how does it feel?

-You feel like ‘You Matter’

When someone gives you a high five, how do you feel?

-You feel like ‘You Matter’

When Kevin Brennan ran into a former student, the conversation naturally drifted back to the time Kevin and this student spent in the classroom. The comment this student made about his experience with Kevin encapsulates the power of Communicating ‘You Matter’ to students.

The student said, “But the heart of the matter: when I say you made me feel like a

human I think what I’m getting at is an issue of respect. You respected my feelings, validated my experience, and listened to my opinions. Those three words—respect, validate, listen—are huge. I can only speak to my own experience of high school, but all I wanted was to be viewed as an adult, not as a child anymore, and that meant being respected, validated and listened to. Your classroom felt like a safe place where my opinions mattered and my feelings were respected, and I was able to learn things outside of the curriculum—about rap and folk music, for instance. Trusting that classroom environment played a huge role in my scholastic success because I felt comfortable in the environment. I was able to take bigger risks and think more critically because I felt safe there.

So once again, thank you for validating my experience and feelings, for respecting my melodrama, for listening to me when I desperately needed an adult to listen to me. Thank you for being my English teacher.”