Adding Value to Others

Since I often write about young people and how to help them with their lives, I say that I am thinking about helping kids learn about adding value to others.  However, all of this applies to us as adults as well.  Adding value to others involves us giving something to someone that will help them.  It can be advice, encouragement, money, the assistance of some kind, nearly anything that benefits others.  When I add value to others, often, I benefit from knowing that I did something beautiful for someone more than they.  I don’t know if that is true, but it feels great to see that you went out of your way to give a compliment.  Have you ever complimented someone, and they tell you something that is the background to that compliment?  You end up knowing them differently and in a more close way.

Here are a few ways to add value to others.

  1. Go to them, don’t wait for them to come to you.  If you are in a room as in a social situation, go to the person right away and start a conversation with them.
  2. Get the conversation steered to them, not you, as soon as possible.  If the person with whom you’re speaking asks about you and tries to get you, you are talking about yourself.  Answer quickly and politely, and then tell them you’re interested in something about them.  It may be a pin they are wearing on their lapel or something they said earlier.
  3. As you listen to them, think about how you can add value.  It may be as simple as listening or saying to that person, “I have an idea that may help if you’re interested?”  Keep any advice short and offer to follow up with them at a later time.
  4. Focus on them, keep the conversation about them, listen, and help them with something before you leave them and move on to another conversation.  End the conversation with, I would like to hear how this goes for you, and then make a note to contact that person later.

When we take time to focus on others, we often gain insights into ourselves, and we can give back to them in such a way that helps them with their life.  If you practice these four steps in your following conversation, you will be seen as enjoyable to be around, and others will want to be with you.  I know that you will find this helpful.  Please visit my website at for more information.

For another look at this skill, please see my post at Adding Value to Youth – Dr. Rich Patterson (

Here is a link to a great website that will give another perspective on Adding Value to Youth, How to Add Value Into the Lives of Others – Self Stairway


Yours for Better Leadership,