There are a handful of people in my career that I genuinely look forward to meeting as often as I can. I'll do what I can to help them, even if it inconveniences me. I'll listen with an open mind as they start describing an opinion that counters my own. Assuming positive intent with these humans is incredibly easy. But why?
I had a conversation last week with a colleague that falls into this category. I don't get to speak with him often, we're in two different business units, and our work has little reason to cross over. We met to chat about facilitation for thirty minutes and ended up talking for an hour. I had plenty of work to do, but this was time well spent because every time I meet this person, I learn something relevant, insightful, and applicable.
He delivers value in every interaction we have.
In my mind, he has that reputation. I didn't quite understand that until recently, but I know that when I engage with this person, it will be worth the time it takes for us to connect. I'm better at the end of that conversation than I was at the beginning. I don't know that he has an intentional mindset or game plan to be this way, but I'd like to think it's a skill that can be learned and mastered.
Building the reputation as One Who Brings Value opens a lot of doors. You'll get networking introductions, you'll get invited to weigh in on things, you'll get opportunities that you may not have had otherwise. The challenge with adopting this type of mindset, however, is that our days are completely jam-packed with interactions. How in the world are we supposed to bring value to every single one of them?
I don't know the answer to that question yet, but I'll explore and experiment in my own daily life. To me, the intentional pursuit of building that behavior is worthwhile.