When was the last time someone told you: you matter? For Angela Maiers, these two words can be positively life-changing. In her riveting TEDx-Talk entitled “You Matter,” Maiers, an education and technology consultant from Des Moines, shows us how the simple act of noticing and valuing another human being can shift an entire culture.
Maiers says, “We were created for significance. And one of the most dangerous things that can happen to us as individuals, as organizations, as a community, is the feeling that we don’t matter.” And yet, too often, students and adults alike wake up in the morning, feeling as if no matter how hard they try, what they do won’t make a difference. This is because in our fast-paced culture, it has become the norm to provide feedback only when it is something that needs improvement. Excellence has become a silent assumption; we’re supposed to assume if there’s not a big red line through it, it passes muster. Maiers explains that this systemic norm does not serve us. “It is an incredibly significant power that we choose not to act upon in the busyness of our lives. We forget these two simple words and omit them from our conversation and from our priority.”
Her three-step system for elevating and emboldening students to find their unique genius is simple:
First, NOTICE. See what they do well, or what good qualities they possess. Second, VALUE. Explain what you noticed, and how it adds value to your life and the lives of others. Third, TRUST and DEPEND on them. Bestowing trust and responsibility is a clear message that they are not only significant, but that they are essential.
Maiers shares the power of noticing by recalling a time when she spent two weeks visiting a school. As a writer, Maiers brought her notebook and took notes after every class she observed. Soon enough, the students began to notice. “What are you writing in your notebook?” they asked, excited when they discovered she’d been taking notes about amazing things they or their friends had done. Inspired, Maiers asked the school if she could have two minutes at the beginning of the day to go into classes and share what she had noticed the day before. Within days, students began coming to school carrying notebooks of their own, helping one another and offering positive reinforcement to their peers, just as Maiers had done for them. Simply by noticing them, she helped these students level up, who in turn, lifted those around them.
“It changes a culture,” Maiers affirms, “by just simply noticing, thirty seconds a day.”
Today, we invite you to take the time to notice someone else. Share what you see, and how it adds value to your life. By helping others discover their unique genius, we in turn are forced to level up and recognize the genius living inside ourselves.
“When you ask for genius, it usually shows up, if you believe it.” -Angela Maiers
*** COMING NOVEMBER 16TH: Webinar: “LET THE WORLD FEEL YOUR HEARTBEAT: HOW TO BUILD A LIFE WITH IMPACT.”
Do you want to have global impact? Join Tim McDonald: Motivational Speaker and designer of No Kid Hungry, and learn the skills that will help you grow your community and create real impact on the world. Through this Webinar, you can expect to learn how to trust yourself, how to tell your story to touch and inspire others, and how to find unlikely partners in a digital world. Join us Thursday November 16th at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST. We can’t wait to see you there!
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