I’m not sure if you are aware, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of training platforms for sales, marketing, and other monetary reward-based job paths. Each promises a new way to retrain, adjust, improve, wow and win! Some have 12-week modules, some have $3000 price tags, and yet others require you retain you own personal coach for accountability. I would contend that although specific training can be helpful, I believe each and every human has an inherent ability to provide VALUE. Below are simple, yet effective ways anyone can provide value to those in their lives.
There is something within the innerworkings of human nature that creates a desire to be acknowledged and/or seen. If this were not true, social media may not exist. We want to be special, loved, understood, and truly known (Read any book by Brene Brown). The first thing you can do to add value to any person/business you encounter is to see them. This can be both symbolic and figurative. Make time to meet with people, put your phone down while you are with them, look them in the eyes, and focus on the conversations at hand (Dale Carnegie). When not in person; respond to calls, texts, emails, tags, posts, and letters. Helping people to feel as if they are visible will ensure relational success.
This can be a tough one to master, but can go a long way. Be yourself. It is too hard, both emotionally and strategically, to keep on a façade for long periods of time. If you don’t know who you are, invest in counseling, self-help books, and/or community. Providing value equates to giving people you encounter the authentic version of yourself, so they know whom they are engaging with. This does not mean that you let out your Sunday football self in the conference room—but rather that you don’t compromise your values and/or core beliefs to engage in certain relationships or business. Compromising who you are, what you believe, and simply being everything to everyone limits the amount of value you can truly add (John Townsend).
This may be the most important skill you can develop to add value. There is a reason humans have two ears and one mouth—to listen twice as much as we talk. Not only do people want to be seen, they want to be heard. When people are talking to you, listen. Don’t think of your rebuttal, witty input, or conversation from earlier. Just listen… truly. I have been a counselor, professor, retail sales associate, and commercial real estate agent. In each role, as well as any social role I have ever held, listening was potentially the best way to provide value. The great news is that it is easy to do and requires no intensive training. Listen to what people say to you, acknowledge that you heard it, and thank them for sharing.
This step follows listening quite well—and both sadly are visibly lacking in the current sociopolitical climate. No two people have been raised the same. Each person is a composition of their memories, trauma, biology, spirituality, and beliefs. After listening to someone, make an attempt to understand where they are coming from. This often requires being inquisitive and doing more listening. If a person can grasp that not everyone has the same beliefs they do and make a great effort to understand where others are coming from while truly being inquisitive, much can be gained on both sides. Whether or not there is agreement, value can be added in such a way that personal/relational/professional growth may flourish.
When going into any situation, take the optimistic mindset that you have ability to bring something unique in yourself to enhance the situation. By giving your engaged authentic listening and understanding, you have the ability to provide value to anyone you come into contact with (Bob Burg). Giving, instead of receiving, is not taught often by the world, but practiced by many of the most successful and self-actualized. By focusing on enhancing others around you, value will be added to all whom you encounter.
If you are a CEO, stay at home parent, landscaper, musician, or entrepreneur—making it a habit (James Clear) to add value to others will no doubt improve not only your life, but the lives of everyone you encounter. By adding value—relationships, businesses, and communities grow healthier, happier, and more connected. Now go out there and add some value!
– Dr. Drey Campbell, PhD, LCSW, Realtor