12 Oct 2014
Basics of serving in general
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in BDSM and how to serve within BDSM that we have a tendency to forget what just serving in general is. So hereby a list and have fun with it!
* Be as welcoming as you can
Greet them make them welcome and show them around or simply take the time to talk. A warm welcome is always a good start for a conversation.
*Help someone achieve a goal
People often struggle achieving their goals and every one of us can use help in some way. Ask people about their goals and do what you can to help them achieve it. Perhaps you make a suggestion of where to start or some person to refer, a course or knowledge or some personal tutoring or action to help them with, whatever it is, helping people achieve their goals is a wonderful way to serve others.
* Write an article that helps people
This is an easy one for bloggers as it’s a regular event. For non-bloggers however, writing is not always seen as a way to help people, but it’s incredibly helpful. Pick a subject you know well and write an article about it and share it with people you know.
* Teach something specific that you know about
Take writing one step further and teach someone something you know in person. Take the time to help them learn it, to explain it and to have them learn from you. Teaching is a great way to serve others and we all have an opportunity to teach others in areas we already have learned.
* Listen intently in conversation
Conversations and communication can be difficult at times and in order to make it work and to serve others in communication is to truly listen and to listen intently. Others will feel values that you took the time to listen and they were actually paid full attention and that you cared enough to hear them out.
* Volunteer to help
This likely came to mind when you first thought about serving others and it’s a classic example of course. There are many ways to do this through programs, organizations, clubs, groups, community associations and any other activities in your community. There are often websites and directories for connecting volunteers and placements that would be good for them. Do some searching around your community.
* Be a mentor to someone
Everyone needs help to achieve their dreams and goals in life and mentor ship is an excellent way of providing that needed help, encouragement and guidance required. Look for opportunities to mentor people and provide that benefit to someone else as a way to serve.
* Compliment someone
Serving others has to be about them. Compliments are a great way for you to focus something positive on them and brighten their day. Find something you can be genuine about and give them the compliment with smile and positive approach.
* Encourage people
I just mentioned this for sports above but its possible in all areas of life. You have endless opportunities to encourage people to do what they love, follow their dreams, achieve their goals and do the things they enjoy doing. Encourage positive behavior and fun actions through you day, you will enjoy it more, help others recognize those same things and hopefully, keep more of those actions coming as a result in the future.
* Be a friend to those who don’t deserve it
Friendship is often thought to be something that is earned. Well serving others you not looking for what others earn, you are simply serving others. Extend the offer of friendship to someone who doesn’t seem like they deserve it. Perhaps they have made some bad choices in life, hurt you in the past or stuck in a difficult set of habits to break. The best thing for them is a true friend and it’s a great way to serve if you can provide that.
* Share your creativity
Creativity sparks new ideas in others and ideas trigger change, growth and hope. Sharing your creativity with others serves these same results and is a great way to connect with people as well.
* Promote someone else’s idea
We all have our own ideas but how often do you reinforce and encourage someone else’s idea. Just one more way to serve and build others up.
* Tell someone they are your friend
It’s funny how we don’t know how to classify as a friend or not. Everyone has a different definition of this, but we all like to hear that someone is our friend when we do finally hear it. Make it obvious if you are around someone new or you just don’t really know if they consider you a friend or not, to specifically say it. Fit it into a sentence or an introduction or just a comment, like it’s great to do stuff like this with friends, too.
* Introduce a friend to someone they don’t know
Friends make connecting with other people much easier and if you ensure you always introduce your friends to other people you know, it builds new connections and make more people feel welcome in a conversation. It’s never fun to be the third wheel not knowing someone in the group so make sure you always introduce people to each other.
* Talk to people at parties who look “out of place”
On the theme of meeting people and introducing people, often you can serve others by simply approaching them and introducing yourself. It only takes a minute and can make a new person or someone who is uncomfortable or out of place to feel a lot better. Invite them over into a group you are with, or just spend a few minutes to ask them questions and help them feel more comfortable.
* Stay calm and don’t react with arguments
Arguments are a sure way to cause problems and staying calm may not be the easier thing to do (especially if you are under attack), but it is the best way to serve others both in the argument and seeing it indirectly. If you can stay calm and not make the situation any worse, then you do everyone a service including yourself from not reacting negatively.
* Share successes
People learn from the success of others and so sharing both your successes and the successes of others with more people is an easy way for everyone to learn from those experiences.
* Practice appreciate inquiry and positive dialog
Appreciate inquiry has so many benefits it’s a wonderful way to help people feel included, listened to, engaged with and ultimately it’s a way to bring the best out of people and what they are involved in doing. I strongly believe in this one as it has such a focus on others and bringing out the best in people it is really an exceptional way to serve others.
* Operate a blog and give away great content
This is obvious one for me and I’m sure many of my readers here as well. Blogging really is about serving others once you start writing for what your readers want, and not what you want yourself. The best blogs exist because of the authors wanting to provide value and great content. There is much to learn from blogging and the best part by far, is the way it serves others and connects you with people.
* if you do a project include others. Doing things together is a great way to bond.
* Accept others ideas without immediately judging them
It’s easy to be critical at times, especially if we think we have our own better idea. Do a service to others and don’t discount or be negative towards their ideas. Let them stand on their own and don’t immediately judge them.
* Inspire others
This is a whole list on its own for ways to do this but we do all have things we are passionate about and enjoy. Spread that passion and look to spark inspiration in others in sharing those.
* Share appreciation aloud
People rarely feel appreciated enough even though it is incredibly easy to do. Practice expressing what you appreciate about someone and do it aloud so they hear it and perhaps others will hear the same, share more or learn from you to do the same.
* Demonstrate perseverance
There are many ways to demonstrate perseverance but I’m thinking more specifically in the ways you are already serving others. Taking items on this list and persevering to keep them happening, to keep on practicing, to keep on serving.
* Share your mistakes with others
Mistakes are a wonderful way to learn and something that can easily be taught to others if shared. Examine your mistakes and do more than learn from them yourself, share them with others. You can gain a lot of trust in sharing mistakes to help others learn from those actions before they make the same mistakes.
* Clap and cheer aloud
You often have a chance to clap for someone or even cheer for them at conferences, events or sports activities. What about in meetings, daily work or even at home around the house? Take a moment to recognize others and serve them by showing your appreciation for a job well done, an accomplishment or for taking on a new adventure. Show them by clapping for them or cheering. Bring others into the habit and use it often.
* Tell me about yourself
Tell me about yourself or introduce yourself are pretty common questions in interview and sometimes in business meetings with new clients or with new employees and colleagues. Use this chance to share your values and principles instead of just your usual background like where you work, your educational background or where you live. Tell someone what you value most, why and what principles you follow in all of your life. This has much more significance, surprises people so gets remembered and creates a faster stronger relationship than typical introductions.
* Be willing to describe your vulnerabilities
Vulnerability exposes oneself and is an catalyst to building trust. When people see vulnerabilities, they relate quickly and connect at a stronger level which immediate builds trust with that person. Vulnerabilities also humble oneself which leads to…
*Choose to be happy
Happiness is not something you seek, it’s not something you can find and its not something you can gain based on “if only…”, “when this…” and “as soon as this happens…” thinking. Happiness is something you must believe you can have and you then have to choose to be happy, regardless of the circumstances.
* Ask open ended questions
Good conversations depends a lot on questions and interaction between people. You can give control of a conversation and draw someone into being more expressive with you by asking open ended questions that allow them freedom to respond with more of their thoughts and not just a yes or no answer.
* Be a change agent
We need to change through life or we become complacent and we die within our trapped lives. Change prevents that and allows people to grow and develop. Obviously personal development is connected deeply to change and if you see the value in it, serving others should involve being a change agent to help make changes happen in your life, those around you and your community for the better lives of all.
* Avoid and guard against gossip
Gossip can be disastrous to friendships, careers and other people’s lives. Learning to avoid gossip and guard against it both for yourself and for others is a valuable service to engage in.
* Express your passions
Passions expose a positive attitude, joy and excitement from a person when they are expressed, or at least more so than normal topics. This excitement rubs off on others and in turn help to encourage them to be excited or to express their own passions as well.
* Ask more questions than you answer
Asking questions shows interest in others and makes them feel more comfortable and connected in conversations. Use questions to serve others.
* Own up to mistakes
Own up and take the blame when you do make a mistake. Owning up to it instead of denying it, blaming others or fighting back in any way is the fastest way to resolve things and so a great way to serve others.
* Keep excuses to your self
It’s very easy to be get defensive and this is related to the blame game above. We use the technique of the victim cycle to make excuses in life. Keeping these excuses to ourselves at least keeps others from getting sucked into the blame game and helps to protect our habits from impacting others. Of course learning to eliminate excuses altogether is best but even the first step of keeping them to yourself helps to serve others.
* Apologize sincerely
It’s actually quite sad to see how poorly most people apologize. Insincere and often still accusing of others disguised right within the apology. “I’m sorry you took it that way” is a LOT different than saying “I’m sorry I hurt you”. Keep your apologies sincere and always make sure you only include what you did that you are sorry for.
* Give honest feedback
Mastering feedback is a crucial skill for a manager but can apply to anyone when serving others. Feedback is a powerful tool to use to send a message of concern and care. If feedback is used properly, there is no good or bad feedback, it’s simply a way of showing concern, express a hope for developing the best in others and a great way to serve them.
* Share experiences
Experiences and the knowledge that comes with it are good to share.
* Control your response
While it is difficult to master, we do control our response to every situation in life. The choice is hard to always make the way we want to when thinking clearly yet with practice, we definitely serve others by getting better at controlling our response and being constructive and positive in otherwise difficult circumstances.
* Master your state of mind
Our response is typically due to some moment or short time frame. Our state of mind however, is really an extension of that response and applied over long periods of time. State of mind affects our emotions, our mood and our thoughts at a drastic level and so in order to be at our best and to be in a state of mind that is helpful to others, we need to have some control over that state of mind.
* Use the words, “Thank you.”
Why is “Thank you!” so hard to say? Compliments can be hard to come by sometimes and I believe its because we are so good at wrecking a good compliment with a poor response. Sometimes we argue back and say things like, “No I didn’t” or “Nah, you’re just saying that”. People have been taught that that is how to be humble but they are sadly mistaken. Responding in this way sends the message that they are wrong and so the compliment is rejected. It’s a terrible thing to do and subtly and unconsciously stops people from sharing compliments. There is one good response for a compliment, two simple words, “Thank You”.
* Be prepared
The good old Scout’s motto, “be prepared” is a great way to think when it comes to serving others. If you are not prepared, you will need to be dependent on others and if you need them, how can you serve them as easily? I’m not saying there are not exceptions to this, but in general, if you are prepared for a circumstance, you are more likely able to serve others in that circumstance yourself.
* Stay healthy
Staying healthy keeps you out of the health care system, keeps others from having to look after you and enables you to live longer, set a good example and be able to serve others. If you can’t look after yourself, how can you possibly serve others as easily?
* Eliminate complaints
Complaints are toxic to other people and their moods. Most complaints are simply dwelling on the past and never really help anyone. Do others a favor and eliminate your complaints.
* Communicate in person do not share with others what you actually should share with the person it involves.
* Ask for help when needed
Another way to serve others is to ask for help when its needed. People do generally want to help when they can and asking for help is a sure way to give them that opportunity. Taking on work yourself often leads to frustration and bitterness which can have long term effects that affect your ability to serve. Sharing skills, advice and a helping help is a great way to serve others, on both sides.
* Use your talents
You are created with your own set of unique talents and when you discover what they are you should use them. Talents are wonderful to show with applied skill and are very inspiring to others. Your talents are always the areas you will have the most impact in and if you use your talents, you have the greatest ability to serve others.
* Practice patience
I’ve had to learn this one the hard way and am realizing how effective applying patience is in serving others. While I used to get very frustrated and impatient with others, I have learned the value in it now and truly believe that patience is a powerful way to serve others.
*Forgive an action
Keeping grudges hurts yourself more than others. Because it uses your energy in a negtative way. Look at it grudges are time consuming and they always retrun. There is always soemthing that takes you back to that feeling of grudges.
* Use positive dialogue
Positive dialogue fits into a few other items here as well but this is specifically in how you talk and what you talk about. If you focus on the positives in your life and words you say, you will make a positive impact on others as well. Positive dialogue includes discussions, your comments, feedback, hopes, dreams, aspirations and stories that are uplifting and positive in nature.
* Keep your promises
Being a person who can be trusted to do what you say is an important way to serve others. Breaking a promise kills trust and takes much longer to rebuild. If you want to serve others, you need to keep your word to them and be honest when you know you can’t keep your promise as early as possible or ideally, before you make it in the first place.