I am into the second week of my new job and today, I brought to work a book that has greatly influenced me over the past 10 years. The book, Uplifting Service, is about how we can all step up in our service for one another. I was excited and thrilled at the same by the definition of service which the author describes as ‘taking action to create value for someone else’. This definition works for everyone – from a service professional to a homemaker, and a c-level executive to a front line worker.
How has it worked for me? Well, it opened up a whole avenue of thoughts related to someone else. This book challenged me. I began to ask myself:
- How can I create more value in the lives of others?
- How can I make every encounter with me an uplifting experience for other people?
I was inspired. The book sparked a personal commitment in me to do two things that are captured in these slogans I adopted for myself:
1. “I aim to please”
I want to put a “smile in the hearts of people” I meet throughout my life. I want to make people feel they are important and that I am glad to be there for them. Be it in my professional line of work or in my personal life, I aim to please, delight, uplift, and encourage other people.
I feel this is especially important in the fast moving environment we all live in today. Most of us are racing against time; we want to move from one task to the next, from one customer to the next, from one To-Do list to the next. It’s so easy to become mechanical in our daily life and approach to work.
We need to pause, see things from another person’s point of view, be genuinely interested in their needs and concerns, and find ways to make things better for them. We need to slow down for other people, go an extra mile to help them resolve their problems, listen carefully to their concerns, and help find practical solutions. When we put the interest of others first, this is the place for new value creation.
2. “It’s all part of the service”
I believe that we are here to serve one another. Can you imagine a place where we all operate solely by looking after our own interests? It would be a dog-eat-dog world. As human beings we are social creatures, and we need to help each other. We need to achieve interdependence, rather than operate only as independent individuals. We need to serve and help one another to make good things happen.
Going the extra mile for someone else is also required to ensure that our own needs are met. M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, starts his book with three simple words, ‘Life is difficult’. Our journey in life is full of ups and downs, so helping each other, watching out for one another, and being there for each other helps make everything in life more bearable, and delightful.
When we take personal responsibility for another person’s experience with us, we discover there is so much more we can do to improve the situation. Their experience becomes part of our responsibility. It is all part of the service we provide.
Can you imagine what life will be like when all of us believe that we are here to be in service to each other, when we all take personal responsibility to make things better and easier for one another?
How would you describe this kind of society?
Little did I know when I bought the book, that now – more than 10 years later – I would be working with the author as a member of the Uplifting Service team. I am so happy to be here!