Your value to a group can’t be measured with a ruler or yardstick. There’s not even an iPhone app for it! Value can’t be measured at all. In this instance as it relates to people, business and relationships, I am referring to the worth and importance you bring. I often initially see clients because they don’t feel valued by their leaders, and some clients don’t feel they add any value anywhere. (The latter are those usually lacking in self esteem, which we work on first as without it success is improbable.)
So, how do you gauge your value? How can you tell if you provide value to your family, friends, company or your team? It’s a difficult measurement, but there are ways to gauge it based on qualities you bring to the environment. For example, if one of my clients gets a promotion as a result of our coaching and receives a $20K a year increase, was the value of our coaching $20K? Actually, probably not! It was probably much, much more!
If a specific team member is the one everybody goes to when something needs fixing, when a solution is needed, or just the one everybody confides in, what’s that team member’s value? I’d say, “More than money can buy!”
VALUE is described as the worth, importance, or usefulness of something to somebody. On a team, or as a leader, your value can be broken down by possessing these qualities:
V: Vision: Being a visionary means having the ability to anticipate possible future events and developments. This skill or talent is really important when looking at how much value you offer a team as the lead person or participant. For people who are detail oriented, this can be difficult because they want to look at the “how” of a project instead of the end or goal and let others worry about the details of how. Walt Disney, Donald Trump, and my Marketing Director would all be considered visionaries. These people can see beyond the minutia and see an end result. My Marketing Director happens to be one of those lucky ones who’s detail oriented and a visionary. She was blessed! This combo doesn’t come along too often. All types are needed for projects, but in the end people strong in vision bring a little more value.
A: Accept then Appreciate: Someone bringing high value to a group or team is accepting of others’ limitations and strengths and works with them – especially a team leader. He/she looks at each individual as “capable” “creative” and “complete” just as they are. This way of viewing people is part of my Intrinsic Coaching Methodology, and I firmly believe that all of my clients and everyone in society is “capable, creative and complete.” With this belief, I am able to coach and guide my clients to find their own clarity. Everyone has the answers within them, they sometimes just need a guide to bring them out. The best way a leader can add value to the team is by “ACCEPTING” everyone and then “APPRECIATING” their efforts.
L: Listening skills: Often, when I create a special “qualities” list or an acronym in coaching, I include LISTENING SKILLS whenever possible. Yes, I’ll bet you’re tired of hearing it from me, but its one of the greatest attributes of a skilled Leader, and yet not every leader has good listening skills. Many problems in this world, in businesses, and in families could be solved if everyone involved would LISTEN better. This is a wonderful way to add
value to a team or group. I’d hire someone on my team who is good listener before I’d hire a good speaker. Toastmaster’s is available to help professionals with their speaking, but there isn’t a group available to help with listening. Most of us are more drawn to a good listener more than to a big talker. It can be exhausting to be around people who are always talking, but good listeners add a lot of value to a team, discussion, or meeting. The listener can remind you of what the client or boss wanted or said, whereas the “chatty Cathy” probably only remembers what he/she said.
U: Upstanding: An upstanding leader is someone who’s virtuous. They’re honest and socially responsible. Since the book “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni states that “Trust” is a #1 thing necessary for a productive team, having a virtuous leader adds tremendous value. My clients who trust their bosses will do anything asked of them, but the ones who don’t trust their bosses are often complaining about how they don’t feel “valued” and they wish they could trust their boss. It makes for an uncomfortable environment when the leader of the pack isn’t upstanding. TRUST is everything and adds incredible value!
E: Empathy: One of the main components of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is Empathy. The higher a leaders EQ, the better the leader. Years ago it was thought that more IQ, college degrees and education made better leaders, but research indicates that EQ is of more importance for achieving success than a high IQ. With empathy being one of the main components of EQ, its not surprising that empathy would be a component of adding value to a team.
Now ask yourself, “what value am I adding to my family, friends, and team?” Am I a contributor or a drain? If you’re a drain, let’s do something about it starting today! Start today just by being a better listener in meetings. Then tomorrow, work on one of the other components, or focus on one component each week and before you know it you’ll be able to answer the above question with a resounding “YES, I Bring Value!”