Consider How You Want Them to Feel

Posted 01.08.2015

If you work in an organization with other people, this is the time of year that you’re likely having conversations about goals and expectations for the year. You may be the boss having those talks with your team members. You may be the team member talking with your boss. You may be both.

It’s natural to approach the conversation with a focus on what you want out of it. You have hopes and expectations for the new year. Maybe you want to push the reset button and put things on a new path. No problems with that. It’s all good.

Here’s a tip for a successful conversation. Don’t make it all about you. Focus on the other person in the conversation. Ask about what they want. Ask how you can help. Maybe most importantly, before you start the conversation, ask yourself how you want them to feel after the conversation.

How the other person feels at the end will be a big factor in what happens after the meeting. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about thinking about what you want them to do. I’m talking about how you want them to feel. That means what emotions do you hope they’ll be feeling at the end.

Because so many of us are wired to focus on the logical path to getting results, it’s easy to overlook the emotional aspect of getting things done. Just because we overlook them, though, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They are. Emotions are just part of the human condition.

So, how do you want them to feel? Confident? Supported? Trusting? Enthusiastic? Optimistic? Challenged? Appreciated? It’s worth thinking about the kind of emotional outcome you’re trying to create and how you need to show up to make that more likely.


If you’re struggling with the concept of thinking through how you want them to feel, take four minutes to join the more than half a billion people who have watched Pharrell’s video of his mega-hit “Happy”. It should help you tune into what I’m talking about.

Please let me know what you think (or how you feel!) by leaving a comment.