I just taught a great leadership class in Guatemala. Yes, they were impressed by my credentials and accomplishments and how many listings came up when they Googled my name. In the end, this isn’t why I got great scores on the evaluation. It helped to gain their attention. To sustain it, I had to do something else: care about them.
I cared enough to teach them. I cared enough to look them in the eyes when I talked. I cared enough to let them speak, complain, explore and discover even when it wasn’t on the agenda. I cared enough to help them when they asked for it during breaks and after.
I am a well-trained storyteller. I coach and facilitate when I teach. Yet my class knows that I am there to improve their lives not just give them skills. I care about who they are as humans.
The result is a connection far bigger than the content alone could ever provide.
Whether you are teaching, managing, presenting, mentoring or leading a team, if you have respect but you don’t sincerely care, you are no better than the glib but disconnected professor you had in school.
When it comes to human relations, it’s never all about you. It’s about them. The person who cares the most about others, wins.