Do As The Colonel Did

So, how do we make someone feel important and do it sincerely? Let me give you an example.

When I was in college, I was in Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps). We had to give a speech in our military history course.

For many people, public speaking is a fear worse than death. But believe me, it can be very intimidating to have to give a speech in front of a full fledge colonel who is your commanding officer.

I would have been thrilled if Colonel Biltz would have pulled me aside when I was done and said, “You did a great job Cadet Bowser.” But he didn’t do that. He actually did something even more honoring for me. He set me up as an example for the rest of the cadets in the class. Colonel Biltz said something like this, “This is what Cadet Bowser did well and what we can learn from it.” He used me as an example on how to be prepared and give a fine presentation. That definitely made me feel important.

What Colonel Biltz did was give me a sincere compliment. Colonel Biltz (and most colonels for that matter) aren’t the kind of people who are going to give you false flattery. They will give you a compliment when you deserve it and encouragement when you need it. We can follow Colonel Biltz’s example and make people feel important.

Excerpt From: Bowser, Mark. “The Three Pillars of Success.” AudioInk, 2010. iBooks.
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