An Adaptable Lesson

by Erin Canetta

9 February, 2012

Being a mom of two daughters, I’m constantly wondering how I can improve my mothering skills so as to achieve putting two strong, confident and kind women into the world. Always keeping an ear open for mothering tips, I heard one of the most poignant pieces of advice when I was listening to an interview with Maya Angelou.

She was talking about being a young mom who was always in a hurry giving her kids one piece of direction or another. She realized she was so concerned with what they were doing that she lost her focus on them. She came up with the idea of making sure every time one of her children entered the room—first thing in the morning or coming home from school or some other place—to stop what she was doing, look them in eye, smile, call them by their name and tell them she was happy to see them. Before, long she noticed this small change was having a profoundly positive affect on their self-esteem. Ms. Angelou came to the simple but very important realization that what everyone wants most is to be acknowledged.

So of course, I implemented this approach immediately and I do have to say it’s not only had a positive effect on my children’s overall behavior but in their reaction towards me. They too have started to tell me they’re happy to see me every time I enter the room for the first time—even my 2 yr old.  And they’ve started saying it their dad and grandma, the woman behind the deli counter, teachers, etc. And the response back to them has been extraordinarily positive. What a valuable lesson for them as future mothers, wives, business women, and just people in the world to readily and easily acknowledge another’s presence with an inferred worth.

I contemplated this lesson a little further to figure out if it applied beyond my approach to my children and personal relationships. I started to ask myself, what do my clients want most from their agency? They want to be acknowledged and valued. What do they want most for their product or service? They want it to be acknowledged for its uniqueness in the market and welcomed into the hands of their customer.

It hit me, that this is exactly why our small agency is growing so quickly. Collectively, we are very good at acknowledging the value and worth that our clients hold in their markets. We have never met or talked to a client who wasn’t excited about what they do. So we come back to our offices and talk and we get excited. We’ve acknowledged them and they know it. With that established, we understand our direction on every account with clarity. It’s amazing that we were doing this without realizing it but that’s what makes us a solid team. We’ve learned this lesson together and we execute it everyday.