December 29, 2015
Do you think and act differently than others?
Beyond that, do those actions and thoughts add value to others?
When you are in a meeting, do you listen, think and ask questions that help clearly define what the goal of the meeting is?
Do you help establish quickly what it is you want to accomplish, and what the team is trying to do?
I just asked you four questions. I haven’t even told you what I thought about anything. I’m more focused on learning about you than about telling you what I’m thinking. I’m trying to add value to you and what you have going on in your life. Asking questions makes a difference.
I want you to consider those four questions as you continue working to reach the next level in your career. The key is that you always add value to the conversation, the strategy and the goal of what you are working toward.
So, how do we do this effectively? I’m going to lay out some simple things you can do to make sure that you are Always Adding Value – A.A.V.
ASK BETTER QUESTIONS
First of all, do you ask questions? Yes or no?
If you don’t, you probably are not adding value to people, a meeting or yourself. If you aren’t asking questions … start asking questions! Work on doing this, and keep asking better questions. By asking questions, you are more informed. When you are the most informed person in the room, you understand things better. You can make better decisions and distinctions that will help you keep adding value if you are informed.
Here’s a few things to consider that might have help you ask better questions. When you are talking to people or meeting about a subject do you ask the following:
What are the goals we need to understand to help us succeed?
What does our audience know or need to know?
What are the different roles of the people involved?
What are the capabilities of the team I’m a part of?
What can be measured moving forward, or how do we measure our progress?
Everybody wants to win. If you know all the objectives and the potential outcomes, then you will be the smartest person in the room. If you connect tasks to a larger purpose for yourself and others, then you will always add value.
It can be as simple as asking, “If we do this, who does it affect?” or “Why are we doing this?” Doing this helps people think differently and it adds value.
Some other easy questions to ask would be … “What can we do?” “Do we know how? “Who can help us?” “Are we making progress?” or “What does it look like?”
As you get better at this, you will notice that people pay attention to what you say because you, YES YOU, are bringing value to others. It will be appreciated and you will become a leader.
People will start asking you to be involved in meetings. In fact, they will insist that you are there. They will seek out your input for projects, ideas and situations. You will become an influencer because you make others think. Big ideas will always seem to come through you. It will be like you have this magical insider knowledge.
Help PEOPLE find PEOPLE
“Familiar” people every chance you get. Say, “hey, you look familiar? Do I know you?” It sounds simple and it is … because it works!
Another great way to add value is by being a connector for people. You will find people asking what they should do, who they should talk to or what you think about any number of topics.
When you ask questions, ask why an idea is different or great and impresses others? Ask is this the best I can contribute to the team? As long as you are sincere and care, your idea will be considered seriously. Are you putting your heart into what you are saying? Coming with a service-minded approach is important. Our job is to add value to people and our work every single day. If you can work on asking better questions, you will add more value to what you do daily, and that’s key to you becoming more successful and reaching the next level in your career.
Keep working at it and keep improving. You will get better every day!!!