There is one thing you can do that will increase your effectiveness and leadership capacity. It’s something everyone can and should consistently do. The one thing is to add value to other people. Adding value simply means you are intentional about serving and using your authority in a positive way. I’ve found people won’t respect or value your leadership unless they know you care and value them. There are practical and proven ways to show value to others. Here are 4 of those ways:
1. Lift people up with your words
You should speak kind, encouraging, and uplifting words to those you talk with. Most people struggle to some extent with low self-esteem. Your words have the power or raise a person to an entirely new level of confidence, self-worth, and can help them see how great they are. The key is to use specific and timely words.
Make it a goal in every conversation to complement, encourage, and speak positivity. It might be complementing the person’s attire, pointing out and praising their areas of strengths or what they excel at doing, or speaking an encouraging word to them. When you see someone doing superb work or putting in the extra effort take the time to thank them and show you appreciate them.
2. Support people by offering to help them
Being present and on the front lines shows people you are willing to support them if needed. I work in a 24 hour a day facility that provides care for children in protective services. Often the children we serve have behavior issues and act out aggressively with staff and other children.
I have a simple philosophy that really helps me to add value to staff members. When the children are calm and there are no major issues or crisis happening I’m not as present. The staff are competent and can handle those times or miniature issues that might arise. But, when there is a child on a crisis, being assaultive or aggressive with staff, I’m present and ready to step in to help (here is how I lead through a crisis). Staff appreciate a leader who is present and ready to assist.
You can do the same at your place of employment. Make sure you are present and let those you lead know you are there to support them if needed, especially during times of demand. Ask your coworker or boss if you can help them complete a project or task. Simply say, “Do you need me to help out with anything or can I take someone off your plate?” These simple things really do add value to other people.
3. Bring people gifts
Gifts are a great way to add value to others. It shows people you care and appreciate them. You should take time to learn about the things the receiver enjoys or likes doing. It might be their favorite foods or drinks, hobbies or recreational activities they participate in, or something on their bucket or dreams list. After you have learned about what they like or enjoy you can purchase a gift accordingly. Know the time you took to learn about the person and buying a gift that matters to them is more important than how much it costs. A small and meaningful gift shows the person you value them and their work.
4. Encourage other people’s professional growth
You can add value to people by investing in their professional growth and development. You should inspire and encourage the people you lead and those around you to grow in the skills that will most help them be successful in their position. Professional growth can help a person perform better at work and allows them to be in a position to promote into higher positions of authority. I value the supervisors who have taken a personal interest in my professional growth; they are a significant reason why I’ve been able to be successful in my position.
There are practical ways you can encouraging professional growth. Consider regularly sharing with your people the things you are learning about, taking time for coaching sessions, provide timely constructive criticism that promotes growth, and give them relevant resources. These things can help the people around you move toward their potential.
Question: How do you add value to your people?
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