I don’t think I’m providing much value

“I don’t think I am providing much value to you,” I said to a client who has been seeing me for a while.

Then I went ahead to share a bunch of project management knowledge resources.

“But Wan, I think you are providing great value,” was the response.

There’s obviously a disconnect. What was I not getting?

I thought they had engaged me to learn how to apply PM skills on the job.

That was merely the context. There was something else they were after: support, understanding, someone in their corner, someone who believes in them—someone who cares.

Sometimes, things are so close that you can’t see it. There are corporate values that are plastered on the wall. Most of the time, people know it’s fake. At best, those values are aspirational. The real values are the ones that people notice.

There have been times when I was too focused on providing “value” in terms of solving PM problems and adding to the trove of knowledge, I have been called out, “What happened to the old Wan? I miss the old Wan.”

I realize now that the “old Wan” is the Wan who listens to clients, to their struggles and pains, and support them as human beings. Unless that part is taken cared of, no amount of knowledge or skill transfer is of much help.

So, please do continue to call me out if I swerve from the old Wan.