Typically when defining “value,” we associate it with some intrinsic worth, yet there is nothing more valuable than people. Almost every company speaks to its own value proposition, pronouncing itself as a “value-added” company. But think for a moment what these companies are really trying to say. What is being defined as “value?”
Value creation can certainly be incredibly powerful, but it must begin with a clear understanding of what it means to bring value to another relationship of any type.
I would challenge you to ask yourself, “How did I make them better?” In any relationship, business, personal, community, vendor or client, no matter what the relationship, if you are not making them better, you are of no value to them. You have become a commodity, and a commodity is replaced on price and inconsequential to success.
Strategic Coach, a program specifically designed for entrepreneurs looking to grow exponentially while creating self-managed companies, focuses on the relationships established between people and clients:
Things that increase value can be you personally, your company, school, church, community, state, country or any individual or organization. Ask yourself critically, “How did I (or we) make the relationship better?” If this was your standard of measure (and it should and must be), you would begin to see different results in your myriad of relationships.
LEADERSHIP — How do I provide reliable guidance?
Providing direction through leadership. People and organizations can easily become overwhelmed with the amount of information and possibilities in the marketplace. Your ability to provide direction that simplifies issues and offers clarity will ultimately make those you are interacting with better.
RELATIONSHIP — How do I make you confident?
Provide confidence through relationship. We often turn to our own strengths when searching for a solution; however, it is just as important to reinforce the other person’s strengths and resolve his or her weaknesses. Foster an environment where trust is reinforced and enhanced, thus creating confidence. When you create confidence, you make others better.
CREATIVITY — How do I fill the gap you cannot fill for yourself?
Provide capability through creativity. Begin by understanding what unique characteristics or talents you bring to the table. Then, use your knowledge and skill set to create a process that addresses the needs of clients. When you address the true needs of others with solutions and services or products they cannot provide for themselves or you can provide more effectively or efficiently, you make them better.
Using Underlying Motivations to Drive Productivity
Knowing where the people around us want to be in the future is vital, because the future is the only place for value creation. We cannot go back in time and create value, but we can address current issues and move forward toward growth.
You need to have conversations that focus on people’s fears, opportunities and strengths relative to their future goals. What are they afraid of? What are they excited about? What are they confident in?
When we take time to understand a person or organization’s motivations, we have a better chance of developing a long-term relationship that brings value. Ask about their vision for a bigger future for their businesses and specifically use this question: “If we are sitting here one, two or three years from now, what has to happen for you to be happy about your progress and success?” Listen closely, because you are going to get the answer on how to bring real value to them. In other words, you are going to find out how to make them better.
Connecting on this emotional level is what will differentiate you from the competition; but your intentions must be authentic. A client’s results and success should always come before your self-interest. Be considerate that dangers, opportunities and strengths can be either motivating or paralyzing. Providing leadership, relationships and creativity to what you and/or your organization can uniquely provide is the key to making others better. Provide the best of what you have to offer, and avoid the temptation to provide what you are not good at.
Uncovering your Unique Ability
Let us get personal with this. We are all endowed with an individual set of natural talents, defined by Strategic Coach as our “Unique Ability.” To identify the activities that are part of your Unique Ability, consider areas in which you have superior skills. What part of your day-to-day life gives you energy? What do you love to do?
The entrepreneurial spirit is fueled by our desire to release that Unique Ability inside us. When we tune into these strengths, we can then pursue our own personal happiness and drive our future toward success.