Building relationships with mentors starts by you delivering value to them.
This was a tough one for me. Coming out of years of addiction I wasn’t sure that I had much value to deliver to anyone. This is the “shame” component that goes along with being an addict. I’d spent so many years in isolation that I really didn’t have a clue how to relate to people any more. Sure I had some really solid relationships in the program but this was mainstream America I was trying to step back into. These people were all movers and shakers in the business world not recovering addicts like me.
Then I remembered back to that first time I walked into a 12 step meeting. The thoughts that were running through my brain were very similar. These people aren’t like me. And I remembered when someone suggested that I add one word to that sentence…YET.
See, a funny thing happens when I surround myself with a certain group of people. I start thinking like them and acting like them. It can be a slow process or very fast depending on how badly I want what they have. I’ve always considered myself very independent and not easily influenced but, when I think back to all the crazy roads I travelled in my life, there was always someone there with me either leading me or walking beside me. Then, eventually others followed me.
Building relationships is about 2 or more people providing value to one another. If there’s no exchange of value there’s no relationship…period.
Even the most unselfish people in history received value in some form. Whether it was simply to please God because it nourished their soul or to deliver love because they received love back, there has always been an exchange of value
It’s called the law of reciprocity because IT’S THE LAW.
The 12 step programs have an ingenious way of practicing this law. They have to because most of us have forgotten how to live when we first come in. They teach us that we keep our sobriety by sharing our experience, strength, and hope with others. Without this understanding the programs would be completely ineffective because the newcomer couldn’t care less about delivering value. They just want to end the pain and this way, they do both without even being aware of it, initially. In the world outside the church basements it’s not always as obvious. It’s up to the newcomer to figure out how they can deliver value to the mentor first in order to receive their desired value back. In my experience there’s only one place to start.
Research. Find out what it is that your mentor needs. Regardless of how accomplished and successful someone is there’s always something they need that you can provide for them. It’s up to you to discover what those needs are.
Confirm Value. Once you’ve discovered what you think they need always confirm it with them. Ultimately they’re the ones who determine their needs, not you. Before you invest a bunch of time in blowing their mind with your value, make sure your research was correct by verifying it with them.
Deliver, Deliver, and Deliver again. In Gary Vaynerchuck’s book, Jab Jab Right Hook he talks about this in detail. The world has changed over the past couple decades in this regard. It used to be, if you wanted something you were taught to ask, ask, ask. This doesn’t work today. People just get annoyed with you and will go out of their way to avoid you. In today’s fast pace people are looking for ways you can make their life easier not annoy them.
In my ADDICT@AWESOME coaching program I show clients how they can get everything they want by delivering value to those they seek help from. I also show you how to discover that unique value that you have and no one else is delivering.