I See You

Among the tribes in Northern Natal in South Africa, the tribes greet each other with “Sawu bona” which in the English language is equivalent to saying “hello”
The phrase “Sawu bona” literally is defined as “I see you.”
If you are a member of the tribe you would reply, “Sikhona” Which in English language is equivalent to saying “I am here”
The order of the greeting of this exchange is important. And what it is saying…in literal translation.
UNTIL YOU SEE ME~ I do not exist.
Which means: when you see me you bring me into existence.
In the blockbuster movie Avatar when they say “I see you” it means I see the love and your feelings and your soul and you mean everything to me.
Among the native people in Africa when they say “Umuntu ngumuntu nagabantu” which from Zulu literally means a person is a person because of the interconnectedness of the people around them. In a word it is the spirit of Ubuntu.
Ubuntu, is complimentary living that luminously embraces a community in healing radiance from the heart and interdependent human spirits of sharing,  it reveals  respect, recognition and revelation of giftedness to the human spirit.
We can only get better when we truly begin to see each other.
We can only learn and grow when we acknowledge each other.
We can only make a difference if we know our existence matters.
If you are working with a team, in an organization or your own business embody the spirit of “Ubuntu” a spirit of understanding and acknowledging others.
Let others know that you see them.
Let others know they exist.
Give into this profound power of  I SEE YOU.
When we acknowledge another. we are saying I SEE YOU.
When we give a compliment, we are saying we know and understand what you have done.
Looking for the positive qualities in your team member, saying empowering  messages to your family, creates a significant shift in the interpersonal dynamic and establishes an environment of trust and mutual respect.
Often a team member is not aware of their own strengths and capabilities.
Often others do not know the  contributions they make to the whole organization.
As a leader, you have an opportunity to acknowledge and reveal  strengths, qualities, and capabilities of each person.
When you acknowledge another you hold up a mirror and say, “This is the person I see in you!”
Often for the first time, you awaken an awareness of qualities in individuals they have not noticed or accepted before.
Often with this new founded awareness it builds self-esteem and empowerment to use their gifts.
In seeing another there is a gift for us as well…..
As a leader, there is nothing more rewarding than watching someone light up from recognition of their  own greatness and then watching that moment renew their spirit as they move with new enthusiasm to own and utilize their fullest potential!
Lead From Within: I see you! I know you exist!  And you make a difference in my life!

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

39 Responses to “I See You”

  1. Gavin Ryan

    25. May, 2011

    Hi Lolly,
    I like this post because as a golf coach and now a business advisor I see the good things in people, but often bosses do not!
    Self-esteem and empowerment are very important in the work place and life!!

    Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      25. May, 2011

      Thanks for stopping by. Interesting transition Golf coach to Biz coach. Please share with us your story. It sounds fascinating.
      YOU are correct empowerment and self esteem is very important.
      Blessings to you

      Reply to this comment
  2. Pat

    25. May, 2011

    Great post. So very true. A great leader only becomes great after they learn how to follow.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Bret Simmons

    25. May, 2011

    Amazing thoughts, Lolly. I know I’m used to folks looking past me, or through me. It makes a huge impression on me when someone takes the time to really try to “see me.” Sometimes that’s uncomfortable even though it is always welcome. I know I need to work harder on “being here.” You’ve given me a lot to think about here – the mark of a great blog post! Keep up the good work. Bret

    Reply to this comment
  4. apieceoflisa

    25. May, 2011

    What a fantastic post! I only wish more people would “see” their colleagues and recognise the qualities each individual brings. What a wonderfully productive atmosphere we would all work in.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      25. May, 2011

      I SEE YOU.
      you make a difference in the world.
      Lets just start one person at time.
      The rest will follow.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Tobey Deys

    25. May, 2011

    This is a wonderful reminder of how important it is to take a breath and really ‘see’ others; to step away from ourselves for a moment and appreciate the gifts and qualities in another.

    Thanks so much for this nudge, Lolly – sometimes I forget how ‘connected’ we all need to be.

    peace – Tobey

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      25. May, 2011


      Thanks for stopping by and yes we are all connected. If only we can remember that.
      There would be more PEACE, LOVE and HARMONY.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Wayne McEvilly

    25. May, 2011

    Your creation on twitter of a community acknowledging each other on a grand scale is a dynamic example of Sawu Bona in action. I do not know of any other hour on Twitter where the participants so take each other into account as at your #LeadFromWithin chat.
    It is so well organized, yet so full of the breath of life, so on and in focus –
    I am fortunate to have crossed paths which such a sterling consciousness as yours.
    With love and respect for you and your work.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Edward Colozzi

    25. May, 2011

    Lolly, I believe this is one of the most beautifully expressed and poignant posts I’ve ever read.

    You gently challenge all of us to use the loving energy within each of us and choose to see that light in others.

    You have created the spirit of Ubuntu through all your amazing work, and of course through your family at leadfromwithin; a spirit that “luminously embraces… from the heart …(and) reveals respect, recognition and revelation of giftedness to the human spirit.”

    Thank you Lolly ICU

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      25. May, 2011

      We had the privilege of speaking the other day. And you are a man who cares and shares.
      You bring spark and shine to every situation.
      I see you for your giftedness

      Reply to this comment
  8. lollydaskal

    25. May, 2011

    I SEE YOU.

    We see you.

    We see you for your gift and kindness.
    We see you for the amazing contributions that you make on a daily basis.

    You bless us with your presence and for that we thank you.
    I SEE YOU.


    Reply to this comment
  9. Chris Carroll

    25. May, 2011

    The simplicity of this piece belies the complexity of
    the subject, thank you Lolly for the poetic nature of
    your post!!

    I SEE YOU!!!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Peg Gillard

    25. May, 2011

    What a powerful post. From a middle school perspective, kids do what they do to be noticed into existence. We educators must acknowledge our students and honor them so they may feel as though they have a place at the table. I see you therefore I believe in you.

    Reply to this comment
  11. delhiboy

    26. May, 2011

    I had read somewhere that the Number One motivator for employees is when they are given recognition – open recognition. Not pay raises. Not benefits. Not paid time off. Not promotions. But, simple recognition for their efforts.

    So, yes, they are screaming inside to ‘be seen’. Namaste!

    Reply to this comment
  12. John Serpa

    28. May, 2011

    A prime example of this occurred today. A colleague was speaking to me about the disaster in Joplin, MO, (the EF5 mile-wide tornado that destroyed 1/2 of the city). I then realized I had not donated to the Red Cross for this epic tragedy—but then a buzzer in my mind sounded.

    These people are part of our community, only separated by 1057 miles from my door and they need help. So, I cancelled my plans for next week, packed my Prius with as much supplies as I could, contacted the United Way and will be at their disaster relief command center in Joplin on Sunday for a week, aiding with the relief efforts by doing anything they need me to do.

    It all comes back to Ubuntu…….

    These people that have lost everything are not merely red-necks and hill-billies, (as one person in the media stated today) they are human beings with innate worth and value that are part of our “bigger” community.

    Ubuntu is what prompted me to go and do something to let them know—”we care about your existence”.

    Fabulous blog—the best I have read in a long time.


    Reply to this comment
  13. Charles van Heerden

    29. May, 2011

    Lolly, great post and absolutely captures the essence of service leadership. When we acknowledge others, we shine a light on them. Not only is leadership about being a role model, but also about encouraging others to their full potential.

    Having been blessed to have been born in Africa, ubuntu is an intrinsic part of sharing the gift of being connected.

    I see you! And thanks for sharing with all of us.


    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      06. Jun, 2011

      All aspects of our lives is about inner leadership. If we connect to our gifts and if we know our purpose we can connect to others in a profound way.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply to this comment
  14. Chris Edmonds

    29. May, 2011

    WONDERFUL post, Lolly! Very actionable and INCREDIBLY POWERFUL.

    When I acknowledge you – as a valuable person, no matter who you are or what you do – our entire global community is raised up. Maybe just a little – but that raising up can help our world grow in peace.

    I see YOU.



    Reply to this comment
  15. Sherree Worrell

    03. Jun, 2011

    Truly a powerful post Lolly. What an incredible message for all. By really “seeing” people, you honor and empower your team and the people in your life to be their best.

    I love the word & meaning of Ubuntu. I wish more people would understand and use it.

    Thank you for an incredible post.


    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      06. Jun, 2011


      If we can fashion UBUNTU in our own lives…. others will follow.
      Love you Sherree. See you tomorrow.
      Looking forward to your insights and brilliance.

      Reply to this comment
  16. Michelle Radomski

    06. Jun, 2011

    Such a powerful post Lolly. It is full of heart and hope. I truly believe that in spite of appearances and chatter of gloom and doom, we are in a time of paradigm shift. The whole of creation is asking to be seen and many of us are waking up to do the seeing. (With many many more “seers” awakening everyday.) Thanks for the beautiful reminder. I will share this heart-filled post far and wide.

    hugs, m

    Reply to this comment
  17. Ammar

    06. Jun, 2011

    This is very true.. people need people.. people exist for people, that is what it called community.. it based on sharing, love, caring and sacrifice.. to all people, I SEE YOU 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  18. Khaled

    06. Jun, 2011

    Thank you Lolly

    For myself, I do that & the results are awesome..

    It’s a reminder to each one of us

    Thank you 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  19. website

    29. May, 2012

    This site has got a lot of very useful info on it. Thanks for helping me!

    Reply to this comment
  20. Dr. Lynn Sereda

    16. Jun, 2012

    To me, the very deepest meaning of I See You refers to an ability to so look into the spirit presence of another human being. That One is now able to penetrate the singular most Unitary Big Spirit Essence, at the very root of any other some One else. In other words, I See You is a way of acknowledging that non-separateness from the great One-Ness, of which we are all a most intimate part. With the whole point being, the more the many of us, choose to really See each other within this Big One Source Light. The sooner we will enable ourselves to evolve into full-on Lover’s of all that we so now, can See!

    Reply to this comment
  21. Digna

    25. May, 2015

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.

    There’s no doubt that that you ought to publish
    more about this subject, it might not be a taboo
    matter but usually people do not speak about these issues.
    To the next! Cheers!!

    Reply to this comment
  22. Booker

    29. May, 2015

    I enjoy what you guys are up too. This sort of clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve included you guys
    to my blogroll.

    Reply to this comment
  23. ShirelyIAmoa

    31. May, 2015

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    (stumbleupon). I’ve saved it for later!

    Reply to this comment
  24. MechelleYSchiesher

    02. Jun, 2015

    Thanks for some other wonderful post. Where else could anybody
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    Reply to this comment
  25. Jan Foretic

    16. Feb, 2018

    I really wish this message could be presented to high schools/middle schools across the nation as well. Kids need a powerful motivational speecher to help them see past the materialism/cellphone era that is so promoted now-a-days and really learn to See each other and communicate with each on a personal level. Truly love this!

    Reply to this comment


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