Value Added Service

What value do you bring to others?  Is it all about you or are you giving something over and above the expectations?

Having been around the world of business networking for decades, I learned a long time ago that I needed to bring a little extra to others.  In southern Louisiana and southeast Texas, they call this a lagniappe.  In other words, “an unexpected or indirect benefit”.  What do I mean with this?  Follow along as I explain.

When I am in a group or even in a private conversation with someone, a coffee meeting or one on one as they call it, I always try to give the other person a little something extra.  For instance, as a coach and DISC expert, I will often give some tips on communication skills or how to better understand other people.  Every time I do this, my coffee partner walks away thanking me for the advice or input.  I may not be in the market for their product or services, but I can certainly give something of value to them and maybe brighten their day.

When you are in groups like a networking organization, civic club, or chamber of commerce, are you bringing value or are you just taking from the group?

What are you giving to others with no expectations of getting anything in return?  As an informal mentor, I watched as Mr. Zig Ziglar gave tirelessly to others.  Yes, he got paid a lot of money giving his speeches and selling his books and tapes, but he also gave a way a lot of information.  For instance, I heard him tell stories about getting up at 2:00 in the morning to go to a bakery and give a presentation with no expectation of being paid.  I had the pleasure of attending his Sunday School class where he taught a lesson for many years just because he wanted to give a bit of encouragement to others.  Likewise, I have given a way a lot of coaching over the years with the primary purpose to be an encouragement to others.

Here’s the sad aspect of this whole concept of giving without expecting anything in return.  Sometimes there are people who either come to expect you to keep giving, or they simply fail to show you any appreciation.  They come to take you for granted.  Unfortunately, I have experienced this on many occasions in my lifetime from friends, business associates, even family.  So, what’s the answer?

The answer is pretty simple, keep giving.  Have some boundaries, but keep giving.  Even when others don’t appreciate you, keep giving.  Even when people take you for granted, keep giving.  Consider giving as a child with no expectations.

Giving is not just a one time or once a year event, it should be an every day attitude.  Make the choice to be a giver.  It may not come back directly, but you will be blessed in the long run.