A wonderful realization dawned on me this weekend, about something essential for our sustained growth and happiness…
It started a couple of weeks ago with a comment I heard about NIP where the boredom being voiced was – “This EVA session is so boring. We don’t understand any of the terminology and it all doesn’t make any sense.” My spontaneous response was – “It is all about ‘appreciating’ what you can. Everyone in the session is getting the same exposure. Ultimately, if you can appreciate more than others, you will have learned more than them.” It was also in the context of relationships that I realized this, but it applies across everything we do as well. The realization was – “Give, more than you get”.
We’re seeing all around us the issues of the new world, where people are ‘trading’ for everything. Kids trade their good behavior for goodies, Families trade in visits and favors, People trade in relationships, and Employees trade for work. I realized that at the core of effectiveness in our behavior, our relationships, and our work, is the innate desire of each one of us to “Give, more than we get”. And this leads naturally to getting more.
Maybe we’ve just put the cart before the horse and said to ourselves “I want more first, before I give”! This of course, doesn’t take the cart anywhere J and we see relationships withering, and growth stagnating. And it is also clear that because you need two to tango, this ‘trading’ is detrimental even if one of the two falls prey to it for some time. To be able to sustain the relationship through such times, it takes a leader in the other to continue to give until the other can come around to giving more than they get. What do you think?
“It is all about ‘appreciating’ what you can.” – stayed on in my mind and I realized that everything that is commonly supposed to ‘appreciate’, like real estate, or stock prices, appreciates because people think highly of them and share their perception with others. It is only the appreciation that people give to these things that makes them appreciate!
Appreciation is what helps us give more than we get. It is ‘appreciation’ that is the ‘more’. When people do something for what they get, what you (as the orgn) have done is to give for what you got. The Appreciation you provide is what must be the ‘more’ YOU give.
This also leads to realizing that we usually do not appreciate those contributions or aspects of people that do not directly contribute to what we ourselves are appreciated for. This makes our operations very difficult to sustain, because then all we end up doing is take a part of the appreciation we get, and pass it on to others who made it possible. This sure might appreciate some parts, but is not always the best or the only thing to appreciate. For example, there’s no point appreciating an author for helping to meet revenue targets, because the person is not able to identify what they should continue to do. It would be better and more rewarding to appreciate what it was that the person did which might have subsequently led to meeting revenue targets. E.g. it might have been the wonderful script the person wrote, just the way it was needed, with very few review iterations needed on it. We need to appreciate what we would like more of.
If we don’t know what to appreciate for our success, we’d better find out before we depreciate our assets to an extent that they are won over by ‘competition’. We need to appreciate what people think they have done well.
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What Merriam-Webster says about APPRECIATE
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For Business, and in Our Business
If you look at what the trade is in our business, what we get from a customer, and what we give back… the customer gives us money for our time, and inputs about the problem they want to solve, so that we can build a solution for them. This is true of all businesses, whether FMCG, FIP, or Knowledge Solutions. What the business does is to understand the problem well enough so they can solve it in the best mutual interests with all the resources they have available and invested in the business.
It is important for us to realize that the customer has paid fairly and enough for us to spend our time and resources in building the solution. Then what is it that we can (or need to) give, more than what we have got? It is the appreciation we have for the customer’s problem!! The value we add is of our understanding of the problem that the customer is facing. This is a value we add not only to the customer’s solution, but also to ourselves, as learning that empowers us in the future to provide better, or bigger solutions to more customers. This understanding of ours is what our learning is. We need to LEARN, to add value to the inputs we get, and the knowledge we have.
If we think we can get by in meeting our business growth goals without appreciating the problems of our customers, we will only confirm our customers’ fears – that we are a good procedure execution center, and not adding any of the value we promise to them.
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