On a recent trip with family, I went to a restaurant The Catch, and enjoyed my share of crawfish and shrimp. I also enjoyed the complimentary margaritas. I was surprised that they give the alcoholic drinks for free—with refills. When I asked why they charged for a soda, but gave the “hard” stuff for free, the answer was that they don’t have a liquor license.

It struck me as unusual. We are all used to paying for everything, and especially those things deemed greater value. We all know that drinks can drive up a tab when we’re out with friends, yet this restaurant use it as added value. The food was good, but everything was just a little bit better with free drinks.

They give away what for most is a profit center. It got me thinking about how we bring value to each other at work.

How can we give that extra value, go above and beyond in our lives?

A Little Goes a Long Way

As a “soft-skills” coach and trainer, I hear about the challenges folks face with each other. They are complain about crappy customer service, poor communication, a lack of follow through and other inconsiderate behavior.

As people learn more about their individual behavioral and communication styles, they often realize that a few minor adjustments and tweaks can make a big difference.

It doesn’t take much to show others the consideration they need to feel appreciated. It doesn’t have to add hours to the day to take a little time to build interpersonal relationships. It doesn’t have to totally move your comfort zone for you to reach out to someone.

So why do we hesitate to give that added value “freebie?”

No one likes to be taken advantage of. It’s human nature to hold back because we don’t think that our good efforts will be rewarded or returned. In drastic cases, it will take a top down cultural change that employees feel empowered to make the effort. Hopefully, you’ll feel motivated to try even if others are slow to join in.

What’s Your Added Value?

Finding a way to give added value as you work with internal and external customers can shift how others view you and how you enjoy your day. First start by understanding your natural tendencies in how you communicate. Examine how they are viewed by others. Ask a few trusted friends for honest feedback. Listen to the things people say in response to how you act with them.

Maybe you tend to be more introverted and find it difficult to connect with others. Perhaps you are a direct talker and often get accused off being too blunt. Or, you might have a perfectionist tendency and others have a hard time meeting your high standards.

With a little information, you can then look for ways to make the small tweaks that will get you the right kind of notice.

Here are some simple ways that you can give added value and stay true to yourself:

  • If you are an introvert, try getting to know your coworkers on a one-on-one basis so it’s not so overwhelming.
  • If you are that blunt direct person, something as small as a smile and a “how are you” can help you warm up.
  • As a perfectionist, maybe offer to share your best practices or teach your tricks to others to help them develop their skills.

As you work to shift the way you behave, it’s possible that others may ask “what’s the catch?” If you’ve developed a reputation for being a set way, it will take time for people to believe that you are being genuine. As they see the continued effort on your part, they will likely meet you in kind.

Want to learn more about how your natural style might be received by others? Send me a quick message requesting your DISC Strategy Session


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