The Importance of Making Others Feel Important

The Magical Maxim for Super Success in Man-management

Once, I asked a question to a group of managers who were the participants of one of my H.R training classes:

“Who do you think is the most important person to you”?

“My mother”; came the reply from one young man.

“My husband”; said a young lady undoubtedly.

“My sweet wife”; replied another person.

“My little son”, was the answer from another lady.

There were many different answers to my question but, I was not satisfied with these replies. After a silence for some time, a young lady stood up and said; “I feel I am the most important person to me”

I congratulated her and said that this was the exact answer I was expecting. Actually, I was trying to draw the attention of the participants to a golden truth. Every person wants to be important, wants to nourish and nurture the feeling of importance. A person’s, greatest emotional need is to be accepted and appreciated by others, to be considered as an important person.

According to the famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow, the desire for recognition is very strong in human beings, maybe in varying degrees. The famous US philosopher Prof. John Dewey once said; ‘The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.’ The great motivational writer, Dale Carnegie emphasized this point by these words; ‘The desire for the feeling of importance is one of the chief distinguishing differences between mankind and the animals’.

Every human behavior is actually motivated by a desire to be important. If one amasses money and become rich, It’s for satisfying his desire to be important. If one runs after fame or power, it’s not for anything else but for satisfying his urge to be important. As the famous Canadian psychotherapist and the proponent of the famous theory ‘Transactional Analysis’, Eric Burne pointed out; ‘The hunger for positive strokes is so severe in all persons that it will motivate them to accomplish even difficult tasks’.

If you are aware of this psychological fact, you can manage and motivate people very successfully. Managers can inspire their employees to improve their performance considerably. Companies can become more reputed and profitable by treating their customers as important as kings, as Mahatma Gandhi advised. Parents can inspire their children better and teachers can impart self-confidence and courage in their students. When you make others feel important, you will naturally become an important person to them also. Your relationship with others around you will be wonderfully warm and harmonious spreading the shine of happiness on every face.

But, what is really seen today? Managers fail to recognize their subordinates, neglect to appreciate their good performance and even hesitate to have a patient listening to their opinions. Teachers are more used to blame and punish their students than to praise and encourage them. Children feel that they are not loved and accepted by their parents properly. Research has shown that children receive more negative strokes than positive strokes every day. Our indifference and indolence, in a way, de-motivate our children or subordinates. Practically we fail to tap the large potential dormant in them.

We surely need an attitudinal change, a paradigm shift in our thinking. We should have a clear understanding of the basic human psychology and the practical ways of motivation.  Above all, we should try to remember the magic maxim for man management; make others feel important.

How to make others feel important?

There are many ways to make another person feel important depending on the situation or the individual. Eleven practical and natural ways are presented below for making an individual feel important.

  1. Ask his advice

When you ask a person an advice on an important matter, he feels that he is acknowledged as a person with more knowledge and experience than you on the matter. It will make him feel like an expert.

  1. Remember his name and use it.

As Dale Carnegie advised; ‘Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.’  So always try to remember his name and use it very frequently in conversations with him. If you happen to forget his name, he feels that it is because you are not giving importance to him.

  1. Compliment him

Every individual is in a strong hunger for appreciation. So compliment him whenever you get an opportunity and do it sincerely. As the famous author Jack Canfield said; ‘A state of appreciation is one of the highest vibrational and emotional state’.

  1. Talk less and listen more

Control your natural tendency to talk and try to listen to him with genuine interest and enthusiasm. This will encourage him to talk and lift his feeling of importance. The famous American author and motivational speaker, Robert Schuller remind us of the real reason for not listening; ‘Big egos have little ears’.

  1. Show respect to his opinions

Never tell him that he is wrong. Show respect for his opinions, even if it Is against your opinion. The former US Senator and 45th Governor of New York, Herbert H. Lehman rightly advised; ‘Learn to be open-minded and respectful to people’s opinions even when you don’t agree’.

  1. Quote his Words

When you are quoting his words in conversations with others, you are showing respect for his knowledge and wisdom and this will make him feel delighted and elevated

  1. Smile

When you happen to see a person, even at a distance or in a group, smile at him and express your interest to meet him. As the former Singaporean member of parliament and famous political activist, Dr. Chia Thye  Poh pointed out;’  ‘Smiling speaks to people charmingly without saying a word’. Your smile is a warm acknowledgment of his presence and it radiates love and joy.

  1. Direct the conversation to a subject of his interest

You can direct your conversation to the topics of his interest. Let him talk about his own accomplishments and achievements while you show genuine interest to listen.

  1. Touch the person naturally

Touching makes people feel more connected and intimate. If the person is very close, you can hug him warmly or pat on his shoulder when you meet him. If you are not so much intimate you can give a friendly shake hand at least. Remember that touch is a powerful language, the language of love.

  1. Pay full attention and eye contact, avoiding distractions

During conversations with a person, don’t talk to others or over the phone, or watch TV or text on your mobile. Don’t distract your attention to other things around you. Don’t allow yourself to lose your eye contact with him.

  1. Remember his birthday and send birthday greetings

A person ’s birthday is an important day for him. When you remember that and send greetings without fail, he feels that you consider him as an important person in your life.

Summing up:

Leo Burcaglia, the famous American author and orator and former professor at the University of Southern California and also known as Dr. Love, once said; ‘Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around’. He actually reminds us of the importance of making others feel important. Mary Kay Ash, the founder of the three hundred million dollar – a year cosmetic company and a very successful business magnate, revealed her secret of great success in her famous book ‘Mary Kay on People Management’; ‘No matter how busy you are, you must take the time to make the other person feel important”. If you can remember this magical maxim, you can be enviably successful in your life and profession.


john muzhuthettu
Dr. John Muzhuthettu

Dr. JOHN MUZHUTHETTU is a Human Resource Consultant, National Trainer, and Counselor. Formerly he was the Deputy Chief Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board and is still working as an external faculty of HRD Programmes of KSEB. He is also a faculty of Department of Management Studies, Mar Augusthinose College, Ramapuram, under M.G.University, Kerala. He is the PG course co-ordinator of MHRM.

He is a columnist in several Magazines, like ‘Business Deepika’, ‘Creative Business’, ‘Donbosco’ etc. His articles have been published in many magazines and journals. His several speeches have been aired by All India Radio. His interviews on various subjects have been telecasted by Power Vision TV . He is the author of five best-selling books:

  1. ‘Stress-Manassasthra- Aathmeeya Pariharangel’. (Current Books, Thrissur) 4th Edition
  2. Vijayiyude Vyakthithwam (Current Books, Thrissur)
  3. Jeevitham Santhushtamakan, Nithya Yauvanam Nedan.(css,Thiruvalla)2ndEdition
  4. Emotional Intelligence-Jeevithavijayathinu (CSS, Thiruvalla)
  5. Vijayarahsyangal (Current Books, Thrissur)

As a trainer, he has conducted more than a thousand  seminars and workshops for teachers, parents, students, executives and others, on several subjects like Stress Management, Time Management, Personality Development, Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual intelligence for Excellence, Communicative Skills, Assertiveness, Motivation, Study Skills, Effective Parenting, Counselling Skills etc. He is an external training faculty of Power Engineers Training and Research Centre of KSEB. He is an external faculty of IMG Cochin. He is also the Secretary of Upasana Cultural Centre, Thodupuzha.


Image Credits: david pacey via under Creative Commons Legal Code



  1. Dr John Muzhuthett’s article on recognizing the importance of fellowmen is a very enlightening practical guide to better personal relations. We sometimes fail to realize the importance of personalities we meet in life when they are around. We tend to realize their greatness only after they are gone forever. Few exceptions are perhaps the surgeon operating on you or an orator currently influencing masses by an electrifying speech!
    Do we realize the importance of someone who sat beside you in a train or community lunch whom we may not meet any time again?
    Let us begin to observe the virtues in others such as self-control, kindness, discipline, courage, empathy, persistence, decisiveness, initiative and enthusiasm and when we see these virtues in others we should acknowledge them. A great way to acknowledge those virtues is to approach the person, even when they may be of less acquaintance , and complement them on their true virtues. Care no flattery.
    Psychologists tell us that when we see qualities in others constantly we will realize those we have within ourselves. Likewise when we notice discipline and self-control in others it will start to reflect in our own life.
    It’s often easy to give a compliment than we think and rather than being tight lipped,and the net result is we may just end up feeling more empowered than the person we’re giving the compliment to!
    This is also a great way to get out of our own self-centeredness and our preoccupation with our own external needs and wants. Dr John Muzhuthett beautifully sums up his article by giving practical tips like asking a person an advice on an important matters, calling him by his name,sincerely complimenting him whenever we get an opportunity and doing it sincerely,talking less and listening more, respecting other’s opinions, welcoming with a smile, maintaining a physical contact at a desirable and appropriate extent etc, are lessons to learn. This would be a magic wand for better personal relations.
    Daily brunch offers ample topics for useful reading. Let me congratulate the Daily Brunch star Team for publishing such rich articles from known psychologists like Dr. John Muzhuthett.

  2. The article written by Dr John Muzhuthettu is excellent in all respects. This is a device to make life more interesting and comfortable. this is of much help to people belongs to all walks of life. I expect that more articles of this variety will enrich dailybrunch. I wish him all success.

  3. Good article. Respect begets respect. Team coherence is a result of recognising each other.

  4. Excellent Article ever….Life is not about making yourself feel important….it is about how important you can make others feel …!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. excellent article …A person’s, greatest emotional need is to be accepted and appreciated by others, to be considered as an important person… it’s true in nowadays !!!!!!

  6. Excellent article. It gives very good tips to influence others. Congratulations to the author and thedailybrunch


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