Other People Matter

A favorite saying of mine is, “Other People Matter”. I really love the simplicity, broad implications, and the spirited possibility for us all to more clearly see and hear one another.

One of my indirect mentors Christopher Peterson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, co-author of Characters, Strengths, and Virtues, researcher and one of the founders of Positive Psychology, Author of Pursuing the Good Life, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Peterson_(psychologist) often opened and closed his interviews and public speaking engagements with these words, “Other People Matter”.

Dr. Peterson used this statement as a simplified definition of Positive Psychology. In addition to the saying’s descriptive capability, it serves as a powerful reminder of how important and interconnected we all are.

(Interview with Christopher Peterson; don’t miss his comments about two minutes in)

A couple of weeks back, when referencing this saying, a colleague of mine described the phrase as a “truing” statement.

What a perfect term, “truing”.

It implies that through recognition of the intention behind the saying “Other People Matter”, or other purposeful sayings or messages, we are granted another opportunity to check our heading, adjust appropriately, and return to the direction of our individual or collective purpose.

Helping and serving others…….

Sometimes I have felt myself called to service in very specific ways. Other times the opportunity shows up through being present, awareness, or recognizing when I’m off course, disconnected from my belief, allowing me to begin the “truing” processing. When I’m “truing”, it always serves as a reminder that “Other People Matter”.

What I do know with certainty is that in order for me to be of service, I have to seek out opportunities to connect. In order to connect, we must engage other people.

So, how to do we connect with one another? Be present, listen, slow down, observe, set aside your own agenda, and look for openings to get involved with other people.

Consider trying the following:

How about upgrading “good morning” to; tell me how things are going with the new supervisor?

Or instead of the ever present “hey”, pose the question of when can we catch up on what is going on with you?


I know this next suggestion may be provocative however, what about putting aside email, stepping away from your desk, going to find your team, customers, vendors, peers, or supervisor and have a conversation with them? I am certain that upon your return to the lingering emails, you will feel more grounded and energized after engaging the people in your world that “matter”.

Lead on my friends, lead on!

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