Being committed to serving others
WHAT IS IT?
Service Orientation, though closely tied to qualities like humility and integrity, is distinct in and of itself. Those who are service-oriented seek opportunities to do good for others. Their motivation is just as much the well-being of others as it is personal success. Service-oriented leaders display high levels of empathy, exemplifying the ability to understand the situations of others, and then serve others as a result of that understanding.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Leaders who display a service-orientation have a gravitas about them that draws others in and inspires them to, in turn, contribute with an eager and humble attitude. People are often more likely to respond positively and buy-in to the idea when they feel that the leader is concerned with their well-being. The service-oriented personal quality is contagious. Leaders and employees alike can create change in an organization or group by displaying servanthood and inspiring others to do the same.
- Find Ways to Assist Others
First, seek out ways you can help. You will not have to look very far for an opportunity to aid someone else. Find a colleague who is struggling with their workload and ask how you can help. Ask someone you are leading what their current challenges are. You do not need to take on more than you can handle yourself, but offering to help in even a small way will likely make a significant improvement in individual or group morale.
Second, look outside of your obvious cohorts see who in else your community needs help. Find an organization that suits your interests and passions. Do you like animals? Volunteer at an animal shelter. Do you like to work with your hands? Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Service organizations are almost always looking for volunteers, so consider giving a little bit of time out of your week or month to make a difference. It is not only a great example for others, but you also may find that this effort leads you exhibit the same service-oriented, humble attitude in your more immediate community.
- Provide Corrective, Individualized Feedback
Finally, take time to give constructive feedback. Doing so often requires forethought, patience, and effort. True Servant Leadership means an understanding that the organization needs to provide for its people. For an individual to not only give productively, but also reap the most benefit from a team they are a part of, they need constructive feedback to guide their participation. This can take the form of affirmation or of constructive suggestions. Strengthen an individual’s relationship with an organization by thoughtfully providing feedback about how they could give more to and get more out of their work. Make the feedback about ultimately improving their experience rather than focusing on the organization’s bottom line.
- Write Thank You Notes
Did you ever have a mom, dad, or grandmother who made you write thank-you notes for the birthday presents you received? They may seem like a chore as a child, but these small gestures go a long way to make someone feel appreciated. Especially if someone else has made the effort to serve you by doing you a favor or giving you a gift, a handwritten note is an excellent reciprocal gesture to say thank you. Think of those in your personal or professional life that you want to thank. Then sit down and write some notes to show them gratitude for how they have impacted you.