I recently had a 2 hour conversation with one of my sisters. We talked about everything. We moved from work to volunteering to marriage to dealing with people and much more. We eventually narrowed down to, the positive things we experienced over the last year and the negative.
We pondered on how certain situations had become so difficult and how we ended up there. She spoke about a situation at work where she was paired with another employee. She did most if not all of the work but found the other employee was commended for the hard work. She later realised her colleague went out regularly for drinks, lunch, dinners with the senior staff. Her colleague spent time building relationships and in turn had the benefit of access. As she was speaking and talking about her own journey, it immediately hit me… Value! I said to her immediately, “you have done all these things which are great but that’s not what the people (or person) that matter value”. They do not see the benefit of all you do and quite frankly will not appreciate it because they do not value it. It is not priority, neither is it important to them. She thought about it for a few minutes and said “Vese, you are right. It is a value thing.”
Even in relationships we spend time doing things the other person may not value but we think is important. I have heard people talk about expectations, love languages, priorities but I had never really looked at it as a value thing. What do you value? Think about the things you value and how they have become irreplaceable in your life. Your phone? Your job? Your car? Your social media influence?
We place great emphasis on what we value. For example, we keep our most prized possessions safer or more securely than those we do not mind losing. We are happy to pay for advice, services and goods that we value. We spend our time and effort on things we place significant value on and believe will bear fruit but disregard things we do not cherish and place no value on.
It got me thinking, in order to make a difference, we need to identify what the person we are dealing with values and make it priority. What is most important to the person on the other side of the table? What attributes does your spouse value in a partner? Your boss in his/her employees? Mentee from a mentor? To make great impact you need to discover what a person cherishes, values or cares for deeply and deliver it. Even in business, who is your target market and what do they value?
I have only started uncovering this new concept but I will keep this revelation at the back of my mind regardless of where I am and what I am doing.
We need to write a list of the things we do and create a ‘value-ometer’ to determine how much we add to each environment we are a part of. This will allow us discover where to place our focus and what areas to cut out. Because if we are not adding value, we are merely taking up space. ouch.
Going forward, the question to always ask yourself is “Am I adding value?”. This amongst other things will help you determine where you ought to go.