Reality Check: Adding Value

In the world of work, adding value is what you need to do if you want to keep your customers. Whether you are making a product or delivering a service, people only want to pay for value, don’t they? Customers don’t want to pay for wasted time, for mistakes, or for features that they don’t want.
While we usually associate adding value with workplace activities, we can apply the concept to other areas of our lives, too.
If you are feeling bored or uncertain of purpose during difficult times, you might want to try the “adding value” perspective.
For example, if the question, “What shall I do today?” is troubling for you, try this instead: “What can I do today that will add value?”
Added value covers a huge range. It certainly is not limited to paid work. Some ways of looking at value are, “Does this help to address a need, such as food, shelter, energy, health, transportation, education, etc.?”
Other added values could be, “Will this make someone’s life or work safer, more efficient, or easier?” “Does this activity add beauty or joy? Could it bring more happiness to someone?”
Ultimately, I suppose the question of whether an action adds value boils down to, “Does this contribute toward making something better?” Adding value includes adding value for yourself as well as for others. After all, you are a person, too!
Many folks want to do good, and we know that it feels good to do good. The benefits flow both ways—to the person helped and also to the helper.
However, along with those good feelings, I’m going to add a caution about external control. In his book, “Take Charge of Your Life,” Dr. Glasser says, “This external control attitude, I know what is right for you, is what people use when they are in unhappy relationships.” Glasser goes on to say that such destructive practices don’t work in the long run.
Why would external control come up in a discussion about adding value?
Sometimes in our zeal to help others, we end up being unhelpful. Then we are surprised when the person we are “helping” is no longer enthusiastic about our involvement. They find a way to avoid us or don’t respond to our help the way they “should.”
So in addition to, “Am I adding value with this act?” is another question, “Am I attempting to control what someone else is doing?” In other words, do I believe that I know what is best for this person? Am I attempting to force (coerce, manipulate) someone into doing what I want them to do?
When we try to make others bend to our will, all kinds of negatives can arise. Distrust, resentment…we might even destroy the relationship. Why? Think about how you like to live. Do you like having someone force you to do things their way, especially if you are not convinced it’s right? Other people don’t like that either.
It can be a challenge to find ways to add value for others without attempting to control them. But whether it’s your family, friends, community or workplace, it’s worth it to try. You’ll get more positive responses, and then you’re truly adding value.
How do you add value through your activities?

This entry was posted in Choosing Behaviour and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.