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If you want to become irreplaceable, there is a powerful question that you can use in any situation. It will not only help you understand the people that you work with, but it will also show you actions that you can take to increase your value per hour. The question is, what's one thing I can do to make your job easier for you? You can ask this question of the person who manages you, your coworkers and any people who report to you. What's one thing I could do to make your job easier for you? Simply asking this question helps the other person understand that you care about them and that you want to see them succeed, regardless of their position, which is why this question should be asked genuinely.
You need to ask it with the intent to actually follow through on the things the other person suggests. By helping to increase the value of the people around you, through making their jobs easier, you actually increase your own value. In fact, in the simplest terms, your value is primarily determined by how easy you make life for the people around you. Let's say that I ask my coworker, what's one thing I can do to make your job easier for you, and she tells me that it would be helpful if she received my reports on time.
Perhaps I've gotten reports to her a little bit late in the past. Taking it a step further, I would also want to ask one or two follow-up questions to really understand what it is that she wants. For example, what does on time mean to you? How has getting the reports to you late made your job more difficult? Asking some follow-up questions gives them the opportunity to clarify their needs. Then as a result of that discussion, you'll write down one action that you can take to honor their request.
Decide what you're going to do, when you will do it and then follow through and do it. Make this question a regular part of your communication process, such as regular one-to-one meetings with your manager, coworkers or direct reports. You can ask this question at any time during the meeting to get insight into how to serve them and in turn, increase your value. In the following videos, we will go in -depth into more ways you can greatly increase your value and make people's jobs easier for them.
But it all starts with that one question, what's one thing I can do to make your job easier for you?
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