As a leader, it is important for us to manage how much significance we place on the work of our people. It is also important to strive for a sense that all work is important.

It is possible to give certain individuals or tasks higher priority and importance in our workplace. Without realizing this, we may unintentionally create negative caste feelings that divide our work group. “Each day, we are given multiple opportunities to either confirm or negate the importance of our employees’ work. For example, if we pay close attention to one person and little to another, this could be interpreted as seeing the work of the second person as unimportant.”

It is essential for each follower to feel valued. The leader’s social expertness determines how well he or she can build bonds and influence followers. The leader who has this EQ skill also knows that this is a continual part of his or her leadership role.

Giving followers a strong sense of importance is essential to good leadership. There is no set pattern for the leader to do this, instead, the leader must handcraft actions that will fuel a sense of importance in his or her employees. Each employee is different, and therefore, will respond to different actions. “In order to get the fullest commitment possible from our employees, as leaders we must find ways that help that employee to feel significant. It is our role as the leader to add fuel to our employees’ Importance Meter.”

Identify specific ways to influence and inspire your followers by bolstering their sense of importance. Come up with very concrete actions that you think will help your employees feel important, because employees who feel important are more apt to be productive and creative.

If each of your employees had a guage or indicator so that you could see the amount of importance you place on him or her in your workplace, what would his or her indicator read? Think of yourself as the fuel for your employees’ importance. Are you filling them up or are they running on empty?

Certain people may feel insignificant despite the leader’s efforts.

A. Why did you place some people’s importance meter lower than others?

B. Do you think you can influence a person’s importance scale?

C. What actions do you think would increase a person’s scale?

D. What actions do you think would lower a person’s scale?

E. What do you think would happen if all employees were running on “Empty”?

F. What do you think would happen if all employees were running on “Full”?

G. Besides your activities as the leader, who else impacts a person’s importance scale?

H. Who else can you influence to help positively impact a person’s importance scale?

For each person on your staff, write specific ways that you could add fuel to their sense of importance. What could you do that would contribute to people’s sense of importance? What could you do to elevate even the most mundane tasks?

Source: Emotional Intelligence by Adele B. Lynn,