What Sets You Apart?

My wife and I recently went out to dinner. The waitress dutifully introduced herself and asked what we wanted to drink. Not long after she took our order. We really didn’t think much about the service. Until another party sat a table next to us. They had a different waitress…. and a completely different experience.

We were surprised when their waitress warmly greeted them and then explained the specials of the day (Specials. What specials?) The waitress also took their drink order and said she would be right back with some delicious bread (Bread. What bread?) The contrast in service just got wider through the evening. Our waitress was not rude but she was indifferent. The other waitress was warm, energetic and eager to serve.

Our experience validates the old saying, “It is not only what you do, but how you do it.”

It couldn’t have been more true that evening. Although our waitress took our order, delivered the food and billed us correctly, our experience was very ordinary. My wife and I sat there wishing that we could have had the other waitress.

The waitress serving the other table had three qualities that set her apart.

  1. Friendliness – She was warm in spirit. She gave the impression she was happy to see the customers and happy to be there.
  2. Eagerness to Serve – She was welcoming and helpful.
  3. Enthusiasm – She put her heart into it. She wasn’t just going through the motions.

These may seem like basic qualities, but the marketplace longs for them. And if you exhibit them, you will be differentiating yourself.

Let me ask you: What sets you apart?  Do you go beyond average? Beyond good? Job competence should be a given but do you perform with enthusiasm and energy? Do you convey a sincere desire to help others?

You increase your marketability and market value by being exceptional.

John Rockefeller once said:

“The ability to work well with others is as purchasable commodity as coffee and sugar. And I pay more for that ability than anything under the sun.”

What can you do differently this week to set yourself apart?
Del Gilbert is Chief Learning Officer at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, NH, where he provides leadership and customer service training. He has volunteered for United Way of Greater Nashua in several capacities since 1986, and currently serves on its Board of Directors and Campaign Cabinet.


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One thought on “What Sets You Apart?

  1. Liz Fitzgerald says:

    Great post Del! And I think by applying those qualities any job can be a more rewarding experience for the person doing it.

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