As We Move Forward: Service

Waiter

What do you think of when you hear the term service? Perhaps you think of how you were treated the last time you went to a restaurant. Maybe you  remember the experience of getting maintenance on your car. Perhaps you think of your most recent experience with a salesperson at a store. Just as likely, you might think of your last transaction at a bank. Maybe your memory is the way you were dealt with in buying a movie ticket or concessions.

Today a great deal of our understanding of service may involve something we did online. Maybe it was searching for a phone number only to encounter the seemingly endless “options” none of which may address your specific concern or answer your need for precise information.

Hopefully your experiences of receiving service will also include those times when the individual providing the service seemed to identify with exactly what you were trying to accomplish and acted as if providing the service to you was the most important thing on their agenda.

Some of us have or had jobs which involve providing service. Think about some of your experiences in providing service. What comes to mind? Admittedly, some people do not have a mindset for service. There are those people who see everyone else’s actions only in terms of how these actions affect them. We have all been the victim of someone from whom we were seeking to receive some sort of service only to have the person act as if our very presence was an inconvenience to them. Who has not left such a situation in frustration feeling as if the person providing service thought they were doing us a favor?

What is it, then, that marks someone who is truly good at providing service? First, this person must truly operate from the point of view of wanting to understand the things another person both wants and needs. It goes further, though. That understanding must be followed by a genuine desire to place the wants and needs of someone else ahead of your own. Again, not everyone possesses this ability. A person with the true heart of a servant does. A person truly committed to service is not a doormat or a martyr. They are also not weak. Their genuine commitment to offer the things another person needs and wants is actually a sign of great strength.

Caring

As we move forward, it is important to ask where you fall on this spectrum. Do you genuinely care more about the needs and desires of other people  than you do your own? Then you may have the true servant’s heart. If you do not, that’s ok. Just recognize that is who you are. It is my hope that you will recognize your own servant’s heart and begin to achieve increasing satisfaction from understanding others and helping them achieve their needs, wants and deepest desires. If this is you, you may not always be thanked, but you will be appreciated. Servants are always needed. There are never enough.

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