Improving your game #5 – value adding

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How do you add value in your current role? How do you make life for your teammates and clients better? Have a think about it for at least 10 seconds before moving down the page.

I feel this is a very important step in any role which is often overlooked. How to provide value and input into what you do. When commencing in a new role, I’m mindful that I don’t yet possess all the competencies to do the job adequately to the same degree as someone who has been there for a period of time. So I do what I can where I can. I take queues from others in the team and emulate what they do, I listen and read procedures and use common sense where possible.

With a couple of decades of work experience under my belt, I’m aware that much of what we have learned in previous roles is transferable and relevant in tasks we take on today and tomorrow. By drawing on our own experiences we can start from a place above zero. With fresh eyes, we are also more likely to identify new methods which may not have been thought of previously, just be aware to properly learn the current process first as many times there are reasons as to why things are done in a particular manner. Having said that, identifying improvements is beneficial even if they can’t be implemented at that time.

A great way to add value is to use whatever strengths you have and share them with the team. If your strength is writing, you may wish to share some of your work with the team. When they’re confident in your ability, you may be asked to use that ability to assist in a project. This is a great way of developing the team’s abilities and allows you to do something you’re good at – a win/win situation. When sharing your strengths with the team it is also important to not keep that skill to yourself. Many fixed mindset personalities may think it’s in their best interest to remain the only one who can perform task x but that isn’t the best thing for the team and won’t allow the individual to grow and develop other strengths. Some great ways I’ve observed people adding value to a team are by cooking/baking food for the team – this boosts morale and who doesn’t like treats? Being a friendly/supportive colleague – someone who you’re comfortable confiding in. Someone who is always happy to help others in the team with their tasks. Someone who takes the time to teach new staff members the ropes. There is an infinite amount of ways to add value so choose what you can contribute and do it.

A good friend of mine told me our objective should always be to teach those around us how to do what we do and eventually put ourselves out of a job. His reasoning is by doing so, you will have elevated the team and allowed yourself the freedom to ascend to learning and taking on new opportunities.

Have a think about what strengths you can share with your team. If you can’t think of any, ask a colleague or friend what they think you’re good at. Identify what value you can add to your team and do it. Also, if someone in your team does something well, tell them. As people, I feel we are often quick to point out errors and issues but are not so forthcoming with comments of praise.

PDR

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