Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Protect Your Valuables

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What have you done to show value to those whom you work with? How can you say to someone, "You matter!"?
I have learned over time that valuing others is one of the greatest encouragements we can give. Here are four ways I use to show value:

I expect the best, and assume it will happen. Expecting mediocrity or failure is very de-valuing. Expecting excellence isn't a demand, but rather shows belief in a person. I work with singers, musicians, and technical-types at my day job. My heart is to raise everyone to the next level in skill. My heart is also to immediately see maturity among the "learners" (new team members).

We recently transitioned to new presentation software for our worship services, and preparing for the first use, I never mentioned that there might be some glitches. Rather, I told the team that I believed in their abilities to handle the learning curve, and that the service would be seamless. (It was!)

I seek to focus my attention on individual people. A gentle word of encouragement during a rehearsal, or taking someone aside to speak truth (while looking them in the eyes and smiling) is a big valuing move. I try not to be distracted during conversations. 

Recently while having lunch with my Orchestra Director, I received a text message from my sister (I knew it was her by the exclusive ringtone). Normally I would have ignored the text, but because I knew it was from my sister (who rarely texts me during the day), I asked permission to read and respond.

Also, I seek to be interested, rather than interesting. (How often, after reading a FaceBook post where someone shares something they have done, we respond with "I've done that too!" or "I've eaten there also... Love the sliders!", instead of "Good job" or "Good for you!"? We make it about us instead of them.)

I seek to keep team members informed, and provide resources to support them. I have worked with volunteers (usually), and paid personnel on teams, and they all have one thing in common: They deserve resources to improve their skills and do their jobs with excellence. Again, I am seeking to help others improve, be better, and achieve their goals and visions.

I regularly email blogs and articles to our Tech Team. Some of the time they know the information I am sending. Some of the time they don't and it becomes a help. All of the time it communicates that I think they are important enough for me to take the time to share it.

I regularly praise and thank, but I do so privately. I may be a bit over the top on this idea, but I believe that private thanks and praise goes much further than public thanks and praise. Yes, it's much easier on us to publicly recognize someone for their work, but taking the time to privately say "thank you" and "great job" shows that we truly value their work.

I write hand-written notes and mail them in the traditional way. A lot of time and effort yes, but the people I send the notes to are worth it. (Our "click-culture" doesn't leave room for effort and sacrifice. Convenience is king!)

After major productions and services, I send everyone involved a personal, hand-written thank-you note. Sometimes I enclose a gift. It takes many hours to do this, but again the participants are worth it.

What do you do to value those you lead?

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