1 YOU SEE WHAT YOU ARE PREPARED TO SEE. Assign maximum value (a ‘10’) to everyone you meet. This valuation changes even brief encounters to times of discovery promoting connection rather than pass-bys.
2 Acknowledging everyone by name is a good starting place but make it a practice to discover something that excites them about life, gives them joy, or has encouraged them. Ask questions then listen so that, if required, you could share what you learned with the next person you meet. This means really listening not being half there as we are so prone to be.
3 Demonstrate genuine interest in what the other has to say. Zig Ziglar states it well, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
4 Express praise or appreciation focusing on specifics. The more global the praise, the less impactful the results. Global praise diminishes feelings of sincerity, comments feeling as if they are the result of a weekend, ‘how to’ seminar. “You are doing such a great job” has little ‘hold’ value. Speak to specifics – “Your explanation regarding the environmental impact impacted our decision. Great job!”
5 Seek out employees rather than choosing chance encounters to deliver your praise. ‘Going to’ employees demonstrates intentionality which carries far more impact than some opportunistic words delivered in the elevator. This said, don’t miss that later elevator opportunity to give public praise.
6 Write a follow up thank you with that ancient object called a pen. Resist the temptation to e-mail or text. A written note communicates that time and thought has gone into what has been stated. The value in this is far more lasting.
7 Demonstrate sincerity by taking comments from words to action. Ask for their input regarding an upcoming matter or allocate some greater responsibility as a sign of your trust. Sometimes this will mean giving opportunities for people to live into.
8 Find ways to gossip the value you have in them. It is one thing to have positives communicated to you, it is something else to hear that these words have been shared with others.
9 Reframe failure as an experience not an identity. This often calls for transparency about your failures. Encourage them with how they bounced back, how they risked out and / or what they learned that will benefit them in the future. They already know about the failure. Help them discover the success that failure can bring.
10 Seek input and advice from those outside the inner circle. You may be surprised at the insights from the custodian, the mail clerk, or the new hire. Of course this doesn’t apply to all things but you may be surprised by the wisdom and VALUE that bubbles up all around you. They see what you never will. Remember, YOU SEE WHAT YOU ARE PREPARED TO SEE.
How have you experienced value in your workplace? What ways have you found to express or demonstrate value to others?
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I welcome your responses and stories. Submissions are made with the understanding that they may be freely and without obligation be used in any future publications.