It's fascinating to think about how we can stand out in our different social circles.

Whether it's at work, with family, or as part of various extracurricular circles, it's good to be someone who stands out for good reasons.

There are many ways we can do that - we can dress well, smile more, do more; but I took a step back and really thought about how we can stand out in a sustainable manner.

So here, my friends, are some suggestions:

1. Find ways to add value.

Don't be one of the many who find ways to take, take, take.

Instead, find ways you can add value to other people with your time, skills, and/or financial resources.

It can be as simple as contributing helpful ideas on an online forum or volunteering to help sponsor a charitable event.

This will expose people to see what you have to offer and will also tell them that you aren't just another person who's looking for something to gain from a situation.

Be cautious - people are smart enough to know if you're just in it for the money, the praise, or the popularity.

Look for ways you can give, give, give.

2. Listen with your ears & your eyes.

In order to stand out, we need to be able to respond to others well.

And in order to respond to others well, we need to listen.

Listening is an activity which requires full focus.

It's not just about engaging our ears; it's also about observing others.

After all, people might be saying one thing, and yet be communicating something very different and yet very clearly through their body language.

So be sensitive to others' behavior and adjust yours accordingly to respond properly to them.

3. Be holistically trustworthy.

It's been said that there are 4 elements to be a trustworthy person: Reliability, Acceptance, Openness, and Congruence (find out more here: http://www.becauz.com/wp-content/uploads/Tips-for-Using-the-Trust-Behaviors.pdf)

We're usually strongest in one or two areas, which is perfectly normal.

However, to really stand out, we need to be able to speak everyone's trust language.

That means we have to develop strength in all four areas:

Be reliable by being true to your word and showing up and submitting things on time.

Be accepting by respecting differences and trying to understand others' perspectives better.

Be open by being honest and by clarifying things.

Be congruent by not playing games and not having hidden agenda.

Why develop all four areas?

Well, we never know if the strength of the person we'll be dealing with tomorrow might be something we're weak at.

We need to be able to show everyone that we are people they can work with because we can be trusted.

Whether it's by listening, adding value or being trustworthy, we stand out by putting others' needs at high priority.

What can you do more of today?

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(Photo from GoRaydar)