In Oprah’s final episode, she was asked if there was a common thread throughout her 25 years on air. As she reflected on decades of interactions and interviews, she distilled it down to one thing all of her guests shared:
“I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation. If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you? Understanding that one principle, that everybody wants to be heard, has allowed me to hold the microphone for you all these years.”
All of us want to feel like we are heard, understood, valued and belong. In his book "Whale Done!," Ken Blanchard (and a team of SeaWorld trainers) writes about the power of positive reinforcement and how it increases productivity, builds trust and creates commitment and motivation. The book is about working with some of the most intelligent mammals in the sea, but the principles also apply when working with the most intelligent mammals on the earth – humans. People respond better when you treat them well and take a sincere and genuine interest in them.
Previously the director of client engagement for Axia Public Relations, Michelle Heatherly’s worked to integrate clients into the firm and to ensure they are personally delighted and their expectations are exceeded. Her personal mission is to live a life that matters and to inspire others to do the same.