While skimming through Jeffrey Gitomers Sales Caffeine Newsletter today I came across a column by Brian Parsley that caught my eye, titled "How can you achieve success by serving other people?" Mr. Parsley talks about service, what it is, and why it is important in the Sales business.
He begins by asking:
"How can you achieve success by serving other people? Some people believe if you serve too much it is a sign of weakness. I don't buy that theory and you shouldn't either. Let's look at the word "service." There are many different definitions of the word depending on what you are doing. I believe the business definition is "the act of giving value to someone with their best interest in mind -- not yours." When you serve your customer with their best interest in mind, you are creating a buying atmosphere. Your job is not to "sell;" it's to help people with their problems or needs. This does not take a lot of time on your part, but will require a commitment to the process."
I thought this definition was concise, to the point, and right on the money (pardon the pun), yet I found it somewhat lacking in the metaphysical sense. Soooo, I started on a quest of self examination, to uncover in a deeper way what service means to me.
So Let's start with the basic meaning of the word service as defined by Merriam Webster:
- The work performed by one that serves
- Help, Use, Benefit <glad to be of service>
- Contribution to the welfare of others
- Disposal for use <I'm entirely at your service>
- A helpful act <did him a service>
- Useful labor that does not produce a tangible commodity -- usually used in plural <charge for professional services
Not too meaty but we get the general idea right?
Thesaurus takes it further:
1 an act of kind assistance <performed many services for the charitable organization> --
2 the capacity for being useful for some purpose <that broom is worn out beyond all service> --
Now it's my challenge to reflect and define what service means to me. Right off I know that it must encompass the integrity of my whole being. For me, it can not be a means to an end otherwise it is hollow and worthless. It must be a "stand alone act" done for the sheer joy and honor of serving another.
Though I have many faults for sure, one positive attribute that comes naturally, and that I am very grateful for, is my "Heart of a Servant". I say this humbly, because it is truly a "God given Gift" that is part of my core being. This bodes well for me in the career that I have chosen, because as we all know in our Real Estate profession, we can serve, and serve, and serve some people, and never see any results or reward, except for the act of service itself.
Finding fulfillment and peace in the act of service itself, can be a difficult struggle for many, who might need to consciously practice, and with much effort, to hone or develop the attitude of service.
Which brings me to: What would I say is my definition of service????
Service to me it is a spiritual act of sacrificing one's comfort and needs for the needs of another. Service is an act of humility that places others before oneself. Service is not a means to an end but the end. Service is an honor and a privilege, and a Blessing.
True service is done without complaint or criticism, true service brings joy and touches lives and hearts, and true service can change lives for the better.
To serve is to love and to love is to serve.
And that's my take on it! or should I say Give???
So it's your turn now. Let's hear what service means to you.
How has your service to others in business or outside of business has changed a life.
Or How some one's service to you has changed your life.
Meanwhile....What more fitting way to wrap this up than with a quote from a true servant, who lived and died among us in this century.
Mother Theresa"The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, and the fruit of service is peace."