The greatest gift you can give is to show someone else their highest value.
Up to now, we’ve been looking at you, and your own highest distinct value.
Now, let’s look at the people around you:
- The co-worker whose quiet, intellectual style isn’t being heard in meetings.
- The recent college grad who is struggling to stand out in the crowded job market.
- Even your spouse, whose diligence doesn’t always get them the recognition they deserve.
Most people don’t realize their own highest value.
They may be doing work that doesn’t suit them.
Maybe they’re hiding their true self, because they believe to get ahead in their career they need to change who they are.
- First, become the most valuable you.
- Then help others become the most valuable them.
A person with Mystique may feel they need to participate in brainstorming sessions rather than work out new solutions by analyzing problems themselves.
A person with Alert may feel they need to adopt a can-do spirit, even though they excel at clearly seeing the landscape of potential dangers.
Once an Innovation personality recognizes the value of their untraditional perspective, they can intentionally ramp it up with creative ideas for marketing campaigns and new products, or they can challenge the status quo and reimagine business processes so your company can become more agile, more inventive, and more customer-focused.
Once a Passion personality learns that they have a special talent for making emotional connections, they can apply this skill to inject energy in their presentations, to build a team spirit, or introduce new team members into the culture.
To reach their fullest potential, an employee doesn’t have to change who they are. They must become more of who they are.
When you recognize someone’s highest value, they’ll give you more of it.
When you see the best inside someone else, you help them identify how they add value.
I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have a few insecurities about how they’re perceived by others.
Why do we care so much about what others think of us?
An easy answer would be to say it’s fear of looking bad in front of others, or making a fool of ourselves.
Everyone in your office, and in your world, has their own highest distinct value . . . but few people actually know what their own highest value is.
In How the World Sees You, I shared my research that only 39% of people consider themselves “more fascinating” than the average person. Yet 80% consider themselves better drivers.
Why are we so quick to overrate our ability to drive, but so stingy with praise for our own ability to communicate and connect?
Is it insecurity?
Yes, but I believe the real answer goes deeper than that.
Most people are afraid they have nothing special to give. They think there’s nothing distinctly valuable that they can offer.
Most people don’t want to ask for attention, because they’re afraid nobody cares.
Even when people do want to rise above the fray, they are terrified by the prospect of what to do with the attention once they successfully earn it.
When people don’t bring their highest value to your organization, you’re underutilizing them.
Even worse, they may feel unfulfilled and unhappy in their roles. In the downward spiral of a self-fulfilling prophecy, they eventually fail to meet your expectations.
When you discover the highest value in others, they are far more likely to give you more of it.
When you help others realize their distinct value, you’ll also find that your relationships—at work and at home—become more meaningful and more rewarding.
Once you recognize people’s highest distinct value, you can help them realize their potential. This goes much deeper than just praising them for a good job.
“You’re really great at steering around obstacles and avoiding problems. You bring this value to the company because you do this differently than other people. Now let’s work together to find ways we can use your distinct value even more.”
Here are specific examples of how you might do that with the 7 personality Advantages at work:
“You’re a natural leader. You take initiative and you’re not afraid to make difficult decisions. Don’t water down your natural confidence.”
“You’re great at building relationships with clients and co-workers. That’s how you add distinct value. That’s how you stand out, and that’s how you’ll be noticed.”
“You listen and observe. You watch and think before offering opinions. We appreciate your wisdom to think before speaking, because it means we listen to you more closely when you do speak.”
“You set high standards for yourself and others, always raising the bar. You’re always looking for better ways to deliver excellent results. We need you to help us make sure that we keep our eye on the goals. Help us find ways to improve, because that’s how you’re naturally suited to succeed.”
“You keep the team safe and on track. When things get disorganized, you always seem to know what to do next. You help us avoid potential problems, so we can finish the job on time and on budget. Keep bringing us more of that clear-headed direction.”
“You always bring fresh ideas that help us see old problems in new ways. We need that, especially when things start getting in a rut. Let’s find more opportunities for you to brainstorm for breakthroughs.”
“You’re a steady, calm force. You don’t get distracted by chaos. This helps add stability when things get rushed or chaotic. You always do what you say, even when those promises aren’t easy to keep. You bring a calm, steady strength to the team. Your long-term relationships make us feel we can depend on you.”
You can use this approach with coworkers and employees, as well as people in your community or social circle.
You could even adapt this for your kids.
The greatest gift you can give someone is to show them their highest value.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more people could realize their own highest value?