Today, I am offering you a quote to start your week. While reading a book, I came across something attributed to Maya Angelou. It reminded me of how focused we are on what we “do” and “say” rather than the feeling that remains in our wake.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Those feelings motivate and move a person or team to be productive and to stretch themselves—to follow your lead—or not. That is true whether you are the team leader or a team member. Leadership is a capability that resides in a person, not a role.

The obvious problem is that we are not in control of how a person feels. We can’t even be sure they heard what we said. Each person responds to the same actions with a unique interpretation based on his or her background, beliefs, and view of the world. Now multiply that complexity by the number of people on your team or in your organization.

It’s not time to throw up your hands in anger. Rather, we have to surrender to the reality, do the best we can to convey what we mean,  consider the “listening” of the other person(s), and discern the energy that we generate.