5 Steps in Becoming Indispensable
Whether you are finding your place in your new career, community, or group of friends, it's vital to remember that every group of people involves relationships. At work, you develop professional relationships, with friends, friendships. Within your family are some of the closest relationships that are often overlooked despite their importance. Every social setting requires some form of relationship for success.
Secondly, there is no such thing as a "one sided relationship". This is a term we've come up with to describe a lack of relationship. So to form a valuable relationship to further your career, become a better friend, or establish a stronger bond with your spouse, you have to learn how to be needed, valuable, and indispensable.
Creating Value and Becoming Indispensable
The following steps break down this process:
1. Find People of Mutual Value
Scan your prospects for people that can bring you value. As harsh as it sounds, a friend/colleague that can't help you is worthless to you, and eventually (as you give without receiving) you will become worthless to them. This relational stagnation should be avoided at all costs. What are your goals? Do you need more credibility? Find a way to add value to someone who has that credibility. Need to be seen as a hard worker? Work with the hardest workers. Are your study skills weak? Study with someone who excels at research.
Finding someone to help you can be surprisingly easy, but only if you provide some form of equal or greater value to the relationship. If you fail to bring value, you're a leech, and eventually you will be the cause of relational stagnation.
2. Learn How to Communicate
Communication is a highly valuable talent that only a few possesses. In your communication, learn how to subtly show others that they need you, and don't be afraid to show that you need them back. This is what establishes strong and productive relationships.
3. Become an Asset
Learn as much as you can about those close to you, and study up on how to add value to their lives. In business, get as much training as you can as it will increase your value to the company and make it hard for them to replace you. In personal relationships find out what the other person needs and learn how to fill that void - for instance, if your wife has to feel needed (as people in general do), study her - find out how she has become a key part of your life and show her how she's needed!
If you're goal is to advance in your company, you will need to take risks in training those around you to take your place, otherwise you may become too indispensable, and stay in that position permanently.
4. Guard Your Reputation
Never lose your reputation if it's good - if it's not, do everything you can to prove value, then maintain the reputation you develop at all costs.
Good reputation revolves around what you bring to the table - are you good at motivating? Prove it to everyone around you subtly but shamelessly - act on every chance you have to motivate someone. Whatever skill, talent, stregnth, or ability you have, show it off. Not in a parading, bragging way, but in a humble and clear way.
5. Become Vulnerable, and Encourage Vulnerability
This is one of the most important aspects of any relationship because it builds trust. That is, if you're trustworthy - if you're not, don't bother, you'll only kill your progress. Becoming vulnerable to people you want to benefit and benefit from shows that you respect them, and trust them. This action will eventually reap dividends when they respond with the same level of trust and vulnerability.
This is the final and most important stage of any relationship, and the more vulnerable you become, and they become, the more important you are in their eyes (and they in yours).
NOTE: Be cautious. Only follow through on this with people you truly admire and trust. If their value is low, they aren't worth the risk, and if you have any reason to distrust them, abort this step completely. Positions are lost, reputations ruined, and valuable relationships destroyed because of faulty loyalty. Only trust the trustworthy, and more importantly - be trustworthy.