Communicating Your Value to Employers and Clients

One of my clients started new job in December. An important focus for her is to build relationships with her co-workers to maximize her influence and her ability to create change.

Her boss gave her a specific project in her first week on the job which will give her a good overview of the team and what needs to be done. While she is happy to be there, she wants to expand her contributions and value to the team. Her strength is seeing patterns and conclusions that other people don’t see. In particular, she draws conclusions from her analyses that provide insight which, when implemented, improve customer satisfaction.

So we developed an introduction she can use when meeting people. Most people are tempted to introduce themselves with what they do, not the value they provide. Just stating one’s role or job title is much easier of course. Here are some examples of generic introductions:

I’m in IT. I’m in sales.

I lead the sales team.

I head up the team that is migrating our systems to our new platform.

I’d like to encourage you to be specific about the value you bring to the organization and then include your title or role. For example:

“I analyze crazy amounts of data to identify patterns and trends that help us increase usage of mission critical data which supports our growth. I’m on the information architecture team.” ValueSeeing what others can’t see.

“I make sure people can have their data when and how they want it so it supports our business growth. I lead the analytics team.” ValueCustomer-focused approach so people can do what they do best

“I look for strategic opportunities for our company to grow and deliver our best solutions as well as those that encourage us to stretch our capabilities. I head up the national sales team.” ValueFind the right customers so we can do our best and win contracts that help us grow as a company.

“I build relationships with our suppliers who work with us to keep our plants stocked with the right materials and components so we have no down time. I am a senior buyer.” ValueNo down time. Understanding value of relationships to accomplish goals.

Why is it important to focus on your value to the organization? So you can build equity in your position. You become more distinct and less of one of the crowd. It also demonstrates influence, emotional intelligence and strategic thinking to be able to communicate in this way.

When you can clearly communicate your value in a way that benefits your company, that’s when you get noticed and attract more opportunities for the type of projects you really love.

For a complimentary consultation on crafting a statement you can use to communicate the value you bring to the organization, contact me.

(c) 2015 Kathy Garland.

Kathy Garland helps women leaders drive results through increased influence, strong relationships and effective communication within teams and across the organization. She is certified in the MHS EQ-i 2.0 and EQ360 assessments as well as the Ambio360 Management Skills Assessment.

 

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Inside Out Thinking on Reaching Your Goals

Reaching Your Goals“…better to be approximately right than exactly wrong.” – Edward Tufte, Yale professor and master of information design

When I heard that quote last week, all sorts of excuses for my biggest project just vanished. I have allowed my fears on this goal to slow me down. Approximately right – what a great concept!

So today I want to talk to you about reaching goals. In order to fuel our soul’s growth and work through our life’s lessons, it is essential to set goals and have something to work toward, whether it be professional or personal. The human mind and heart is wired to move forward and setting goals is a way forward.

Yet some of us (including me at times) are fearful of setting big goals out of a self-limiting belief that we will fail or one of my fears – not meeting mine or others expectations. Or also the concern that my reputation somehow will be diminished.

Most of you know I’ve taught goal-setting for years. I have a specific process for setting goals and making them very clear and tangible. You also know how to set goals.

So what is the big deal? Why isn’t everyone excited about setting goals and moving forward? Mostly because there are some emotions and limiting beliefs involved. Literally we can let our emotions hijack our behaviors and actions.

We all have many life lessons to learn, blocks to clear and more of life to experience. Let’s make it a little easier – sound like a plan?

Next time you are dreaming about a big goal or something you want to do, accomplish or become, notice your emotions. That may be difficult at first. You have to slow down. Emotions are part of the human experience, whether we want to acknowledge that or not.

Ask yourself:

1. What’s at stake for me if I do this/ or become this?

2. How do I feel about that?

3. Does this goal support who I want to be?

4. What is the background or story that has contributed to fearful or blocking emotions that would cause you to hold back?

For me, writing a book is my biggest goal right now. I’m really busy with clients, projects, family and travel so it is easy to put the book on the back burner. I can justify by saying I’m so busy.

However, I have done some work to look at the limiting beliefs and emotions involved in what’s at stake for me if I do write and publish a book. Taking a dive into what limiting beliefs and emotions were keeping me stuck has been extremely helpful in moving me forward.

If you are a woman with big dreams in your heart that you want to make happen, I want to invite you to attend my Heart and Soul Women’s Retreat, January 23-25, 2015. We will focus on overcoming limitations of stress and the emotional roller coaster that keeps us stuck. You will get clear on what you want to accomplish in 2015.

Check out the details here or contact me.

 © Copyright 2014, Kathy Garland

Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding women leaders and their teams to a more collaborative and successful work environment.

Today’s leaders are managing diverse teams and projects that require impeccable communication and decision-making skills. The ability to clearly define the vision, goals and purpose of any business initiative that will motivate a team or individual is the key to achieving big results. 

Kathy specializes in coaching and mentoring these high potential, thought leaders to accurately define and communicate the vision, goals and expected results to management, teams and clients.

 

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#2 Struggling with the Pressure of Commitments

Some days my head hurts with the pressure of commitments I’ve made. Weekly I learn of great opportunities to expand my business, improve my life and make more money. I am getting better at ignoring all the wonderful opportunities except from a few people that I really trust. And then, I need to be very focused on what is best for my business and me. I don’t always do a good job of it and end up being overcommitted and not having enough downtime.

So what happens is I take care of the commitments I make to other people (I do want to get paid and keep my  relationships) and not those I make to myself. Therefore my book is not written and my 7-day online course is only  in concept stage.

I’m putting it out there before all my readers and God that I am going to narrow my focus and re-commit to writing  the book I want to publish.

You may need to do narrow your focus too. A few weeks ago a close friend of ours died and this experience is a reminder to focus on what is most important to me and create the work and the change I am here to make happen.

Did you create a list of your commitments? If not, there are tips in this post.

Once you have your list, review it carefully and make these choices:

1. Put a heart next to the commitments that matter most to you.

2. Put a star next to the ones you have promised and matter to you.

3. Cross off the list those that aren’t viable based on what you chose in #1 and #2. Let go of the projects and ideas that you feel you ‘should’ do that don’t support your brand or your personal goals. Unless you are getting paid for the project or it’s part of your job, you can move these off your hot list and free up time and emotional space.

Re-evaluate your commitments to lower your stress and maximize your opportunities.

Re-evaluate your commitments to lower your stress and maximize your opportunities.

For a complimentary consultation on managing your commitments, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland

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3 Tips to Navigate Your Identity Crisis

Have you ever faced an identity crisis? It’s a crisis of meaning where you just don’t know who you are anymore. Sometimes it is extreme and you need help to get through it and sometimes you can use reflection and talking to friends to feel better. A change in how you perceive who you are usually comes with changes in your life circumstances.

Here are some events that can trigger confusion or introspection of your own sense of self:

– Starting or changing a career

– Changing jobs

– Getting laid off

– Getting married

– Getting divorced

– Moving locally or farther

– Losing a loved one

– Raising a family/becoming an empty-nester

– Promotions

– Cosmetic surgery, weight loss or even orthodontic treatment

These events can cause us to question our identity or who we think we are. Many times it is a good thing because we are evolving into the person we’ve always envisioned for our life.

That’s where the crisis comes in. Emotionally, we may not be certain how to act, how to be and if we are ready to step into that new identity. I’ve experienced multiple changes in my life – moves, jobs, careers, family changes and more where I looked again at my own sense of self. I remember the worst identity crisis I experienced was after resigning from a position that no longer matched who I was and my goals. Leaving that position called up all sorts of questions about who I was and I went into a spin of self-doubt and confusion until I started my business.

As a business owner, I love identifying with the compliments and reflections of who I am as a speaker and workshop leader. It aligns with what I love to do and I can see that what I facilitate in my talks and workshops impacts people in a positive way.

Your identity is the outward expression of who you are such that people can describe you to other people or make decisions about you. More importantly though, is your own sense of identity – who do you think you are and who do you want to be?

If you are in transition and confused about your identity and your sense of self, there are a few things you can do.

Relax and Slow Down1. Relax and slow down. Re-connect with who and what is important to you. During transition time, when your identity is changing, your mind may be racing and your ego is certainly taking exception to the change – good or bad.

2. Create a picture of who you want to be, how you want to be seen and how you want people to speak of you. Write it down.

3. Make a list of your talents and abilities. If you are in a spin of self-doubt, ask people who are your supporters. Identify your favorite successes and what is common across all of them.

You don’t have to worry and have a lot of stress during a crisis of identity. Each time you get in that spin, remind yourself that life is a journey and have faith that you will find your sense of self again.

Now go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief. You’ll make it through.

If you are in transition, I offer a complementary 30-minute consultation to help you reconnect with your true self. Simply fill out this form with your request and your contact information and I will connect with you to set up a call.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland

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YOU can only go UP! from here

This morning on the way home from my workout, the song “Up!” by Shania Twain came up on my playlist. It’s a funny, upbeat song about a day that started out bad and her positive attitude that life can only go up from here.

That’s a theme that you can adopt in your business and life. Simple, yet powerful. You can use this approach to change your thoughts and attitudes about what is happening to you.

Next time you have a frustrating or discouraging moment or result, tell yourself “I can only go up from here!” Notice your reactions and your feelings. Over time, you’ll retrain your thought patterns to be more optimistic and open about your challenges.

If you are going through change, figuring out what’s next or in some sort of transition, you can especially use “I can only go up from here!” as a mantra to lighten up your stress.

I’ve used this phrase (and I admit – even sing along enthusiastically in the car) plus a few others including “What else is possible?” to get me unstuck and moving forward.

Kathy Garland's weekend seminar

Write down your 2014 plan

This is the time of year to plan a starting point for 2014 focus and goals as well as finishing 2013 strongly.

What will you do to move confidently into 2014? If you’d like to get started now, I’m offering a weekend seminar that will help you finish 2013 strong and have an early starting point for 2014.

This weekend seminar is focused on you and drawing out what you want to accomplish and where you want to spend your energy and time in 2014.

It starts November 15, 2013.

Here are more details on your starting point for 2014. Visit my website for other programs on navigating transition.

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Getting Your Ideas Heard, Part 2

This week’s tip on communicating your ideas effectively is to talk to your stakeholders and supporters when you want to promote an idea. When web sites first started to be used as a marketing tool, I was a VP of Business Development for a creative firm. My common sense and feeling was that we needed to jump in early to get our name out there as the need for web sites grew.

I remember having a lot of conversations about the strategy and direction of the company. Would people really use web sites and the Internet as much as the media was suggesting?  The owners had recently decided to invest a good portion of design time to a multi-media project for a popular art museum so our resources were stretched at the time.

However, I was certain we needed to move into web development and add to the services our company offered. To gain support, I talked to everyone. I talked

Gain agreement for your idea

to the company owners and my peers on the management team. In addition, I visited the creative people and heard their opinions. We talked about this in meetings and I discussed the strategy and approach in individual conversations.

People had varying opinions, however I wouldn’t give up. In general, the people I worked with were very open to new ideas. The web design idea was so new though, we risked putting resources into an area that we didn’t know would work or not.

Fortunately, the company was enough of a risk-taker that we put together a presentation and we talked to anyone who would listen. We were the first design company in town to carve out a position and promote our web design services so quickly our name was in the ring for consideration when companies wanted a web site. Not long after that we were invited to propose our services to one of the largest financial services companies in the country. We won the business!

Taking time to communicate your ideas with your stakeholders and with your supporters will benefit your career and very possibly contribute to the bottom line.

Here are some steps you can take to make this happen:

  1. Identify your key supporters and those you trust.
  2. Identify key stakeholders – those involved in the decision area of your idea.
  3. Have casual, unscheduled conversations.
  4. Schedule meetings one-on-one to discuss your idea.
  5. When you feel you are gaining support and interest for your idea, schedule a meeting with the decision-makers to present your idea.
  6. Be enthusiastic. This helps people tune in to your message.

Kathy Garland specializes in translating business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. Join her conversations on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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Do people remember you?

One of the most important assets you have when you market yourself and your services is your reputation and your personal brand.

What do you do to stand out? Are you consistent? That’s an important hallmark in building your personal brand.

Let’s talk about the benefits of having a strong personal brand. When people know you for a specific result, outcome, way of being or their relationship with you, you are more memorable.

Being more memorable gives you an advantage over the many others who are in your same category.

Each person has something unique about who they are or their capabilities. Do you know what is unique about you?

The power in your personal brand is to understand what is different and unique about you that matters to your clients. If you are an expert on food or ancient Greece or social media, it only matters if your desired customers want that or if they have the same interests and passions.

This week, observe people you interact with on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. As you observe them, ask yourself these questions:

– What makes them memorable?
– Is it what they do?
– Is it how they do what they do?
– Is it their personality?
– Is it their client list?

If you find yourself realizing that some people are easily recalled in your memory, ask yourself why that is. What is it about this person that doesn’t stand out.

Be open-minded to what they do to be more memorable or what they don’t do. Find some benchmarks and role models and determine what you can do to be more memorable.

The people who are memorable to me for my business are ones who understand my business opportunities and offer ideas and solutions. They go out of their way to connect me to people and resources that could help.

I’d love for you to join my Market You Mondays community on Facebook and add your comments and ask questions.

Kathy Garland specializes in translating business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. Join her conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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What You Do in Ten Words or less

Today’s Market You Mondays tip is how to tell people what you do in ten words or less when you are networking and meeting with people. It’s a big challenge and worthy of your time. When you effectively communicate what you do in ten words or less, it helps build your personal brand.

To get started ask yourself a few questions:

1. What do you do best that benefits other people?

2. What do you do to make their lives easier?

3. Think of your best clients. What are their problems and how have you helped them?

What you do is not your title or your profession. Most people tune out when you use your title to tell them what you do. Titles such as designer, accountant, coach, artist, chiropractor, speaker, consultant, therapist, counselor, financial services advisor, CPA and many others do give people an idea of who you are. Your job is to explain to them how you do what you do in a way that is relevant to them and distinctive from other people in the same profession.

This is one of the most important tasks you need to complete this month. Spend some time brainstorming words, phrases, outcomes that could describe what you do.

It’s always a great idea to ask your clients what results they’ve gotten by working with you. Take their words and add to your list.

Coming up with what you do in a phrase that resonates with people takes time so give yourself several rounds of brainstorming and editing. Keep narrowing your content until you can get it into ten words or less. The benefit is that when you meet new people, they can learn a lot about you in a few seconds.

I’ve changed the words I use several times over the last few years. What I’m most happy with right now is “Translating Business Challenges into Opportunities.” Most of my clients are experts in their field who have a great reputation, however, they are not getting the business results they want for themselves. What I do is explore with them what they do best, listen to client stories and then find the words to describe what they do. Often clients don’t realize the gold mine they have in their business or they are looking at the benefits from their point of view, not from their clients’ perspectives. Once we discover that nugget, we create opportunities that result in revenue growth.

People tend to talk about the process of what they do, not the results. Start thinking in terms of the results you provide. Write down what your clients say.

At first, you may write a page or several pages. That’s fine, don’t stop. Each time you look at it again, keep paring away until you get to the essence of what you do.

You’ll want to be able to use this in several ways depending on the situation. You will want flexibility so you can use your phrase several ways while networking. You can use it as a tagline and to create a short introduction or a 30-second commercial. Your goal is for people to ask you more about what you do or even better set an appointment with you.

Make sure to use action words and benefit-oriented words. Words that Sell: More than 6000 Entries to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas by Richard Bayan is a great tool to help you get started. I find his books to be very helpful.

Next Monday, I’ll share more tips about what to say when people ask you what you do. I’d love for you to join my Market You Mondays community on Facebook and add your comments and ask questions.

 

Kathy Garland specializes in translating business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. Join her conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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