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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The Landscape of Change

View into Monet's Garden

For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at any moment. (Claude Monet)

 

 

Photo by Kathy Garland

This is the view looking out from Claude Monet’s painting studio. Every day, he woke up to the beauties of his garden. When I was in Giverny, France last year to visit Monet’s home and garden, I was overcome by the richness and depth of the landscape and the environment he created to support his creativity and his life passion. I took a lot of photos, some of which I’ve included below.

The quote above by Monet is one for reflection. His gardens, the lily pond and surrounding property changed on a daily basis. In Paris there is a building displaying murals of his famous “Water Lily” theme that represent different parts of the day from dawn till dusk. It’s fascinating to see the changes in light and how the different elements of his paintings change because of the light.

We too, change from moment to moment. We are not always as aware of the changes in ourselves as we are in our environment. We observe the change in the weather, the amount of traffic or how other people change.

As a leader, it’s important to stay tuned into not only the changes you are experiencing, but also those of the people that are on your team. We may frequently change opinions and approaches based on the changing environment around us. That can be difficult for the people that work with us if they aren’t as flexible as we are.

Flexibility is an important emotional intelligence skill to have especially during times of change and any time you work with people, which unless you hide out in a garden, fits just about everyone.

What I take from Monet’s quote above is that the landscape isn’t the thing. It is the outward expression of all the trees, flowers, lily pads, butterflies, water and bridges that make up the garden.

A team’s efforts are expressed in how they get along, what results are generated and the quality of the relationships they build across the organization. Flexibility gives you the ability to create “the landscape” as you go, rather than looking back at what should have or could have been.

Flexible people have open minds, adapt and correct their mistakes, and can shift their priorities according to the needs of the organization. You can build your flexibility through simple things like ordering something different at a favorite restaurant, changing up your routine, driving a different way to work.

We all make up a landscape of success and being able to change when it is needed is an important part of success.

Here are a few more of my favorite photos from Monet’s garden:

Photo by Kathy Garland   Photo by Kathy GarlandPhoto by Kathy GarlandPhoto by Kathy Garland

 

 

 

 

(c) 2014 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. For a complementary consultation on how your team can flex with the landscape of change and increase influence across the organization, please contact me at www.kathygarland.com/contact-us.

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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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Keeping Calm at Work

Emotional Intelligence is Critical to Your Success

Remaining calm in the face of stress and conflict at work can be challenging. I work with many leaders who admit that they let their frustrations show too often.

Other leaders have learned not to take conflict and problems so personally and they remain calm no matter what the situation.

A third scenario is that a leader is overly optimistic and positive and won’t address the hard choices and challenges, believing that the situation will take care of itself.

Actually there are challenges with each of these scenarios.

This type of emotion displayed in the workplace destroys relationships and engagement.

This type of emotion displayed in the workplace destroys relationships and engagement.

The leaders who let their frustrations get to them sometimes will respond to their direct reports or peers with anger and say something destructive to the relationship.

The leaders who are able to keep their emotions in a neutral space no matter what the situation is have a calming effect on their teams. The challenge with this style is that the leader’s team may find it harder to assess what their leader is thinking and expecting.

The leader who is overly optimistic and positive can be missing opportunities for improvement or not realize when the team is solving the wrong problem.

Appropriate emotions in the workplace are necessary for balanced relationships and effective progress toward goals. Inappropriate emotions, such as disrespectful comments, irrational anger and frustration or even being overly optimistic are not necessary and are usually damaging in some way.

Finding balance is an opportunity for leaders.

Leaders who understand and manage their emotions are more successful

Leaders who understand and manage their emotions are more successful

Teams need to know where they stand with their leader, yet when a leader is constantly criticizing or showing frustration, individual and team engagement usually falls.

On the other hand, if a leader is constantly positive, without addressing the difficult challenges, teams aren’t able to power through difficult times of heavy workloads or transition.

It’s a rare leader who is able to share openly with their team when they are excited and recognize the success of their teams as well as be able to express disappointment or communicate in an effective way so the team can adapt and improve performance.

If you find yourself with either no emotions or mostly sharing corrective feedback with your team or the opposite of being overly positive and optimistic, consider observing yourself for a week or so and note when you have emotions that trigger you and notice how you react.

Simply noticing and becoming more aware of how you experience emotion throughout the day is a great place to start.

If you find your emotions sometime hijack your reactions to your team, you can set up a complimentary Discovery Call with me to learn three tips to stop yourself from over-reacting.  To schedule a complimentary call with me, visit https://www.timetrade.com/book/YRNDC.

 © 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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The Many Masks of Stress

Many faces of stressAll of us have stress – we wouldn’t be alive without some form of stress. The trouble starts because most of us don’t know how to manage our stress. According to Stress.org (yes there really is a website devoted to stress), 46% of our workplace stress is related to workload, 28% is due to people issues, 20% work/life balance and 6% job security.

Work-related stress shows up in many ways and often that stress triggers reactions that are harmful to relationships – whether working or personal. My definition of stress is the feeling (whether you are conscious of it or not) that you feel when there is a gap between where you are and where you need to be relative to your responsibilities and goals.

People react differently to stress. Some leaders I’ve worked with have managed to hide stress so well that their direct reports and co-workers don’t realize they are under so much stress. Their ability to appear calm on the outside keeps their team focused. I wonder, though, if it takes a toll personally on them. Are they pretending not to be stressed? Some may be, however, many top managers are able to have a different perspective and able to keep focused on the vision, which makes the stress easier to handle.

Other people show visible signs of stress. Scowling or concerned faces, snapping at co-workers and colleagues, a mistaken comment to a client are all outcomes of being overstressed.

When I led sales for a design firm, my co-workers knew when I was stressed and hyper-focused on solving a problem.  I zoomed through the office with a slightly bent forward posture. They had a nickname for me that I discovered after I left the company – “Kathy italic.” I can laugh about it now because I’m not under the pressure to bring in sales like I was then and appreciate that they cared about me.

That pressure and stress led me to be very task-focused and overlook times I could build on relationships. That was one of my masks of stress – covering up my fear of not meeting goals by focusing on the task at hand of business development.

You can lighten your stress load simply by observing ways that stress plays out in your life. As you notice where you are showing stress reactions, decide what you can do to look at the situation differently or take a different action. Talk to a trusted co-worker or your boss if that is a solid relationship. If your stress is extreme, please contact your Employee Assistance Program or seek help from a counselor or coach who can help you develop strategies to manage your stress.

© Copyright 2014, Kathy Garland

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. 

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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Is Empathy Appropriate at Work?

Is Showing Empathy at Work a Weakness?

Empathy is a powerful skill for you to use in leading your team. Empathy is defined as the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences, feelings and emotions. (Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

There it is. The word emotion. And even more challenging – the word feeling.

Often we think there is no place at work for feelings and emotions, yet behind every interaction is some kind of feeling or emotion.

When we say there is no place for it, we mean, we are not going to talk about it. It means no one wants to address feelings and emotions at work. Most people don’t know how to acknowledge feelings and emotions in their personal lives either.

I have leaders tell me frequently that they have no time to be empathetic at work. What they really mean is they don’t want people to come into their offices and cry on their shoulders. I can understand that. However, there are easy ways to show empathy.

Often a team member or employee can feel that you care when you start your conversation with an empathetic approach.

“Thank you for working late last night. We made our deadline because you helped out. I know you missed the ball game. We’ll make it up to you so you can leave earlier next time.”

“I’m sorry you are having a tough time at home. I appreciate your focus while you are here.”

People need to know that you care and understand what is going on for them.

Bosses who ignore the emotions and feelings of their team members and only focus on the task are risking employee engagement as well as productivity.

If you are a boss who is very tasked-focused, take a little time each day to talk with one of your team members. As little as five minutes can make a huge difference.

© copyright 2014, Kathy Garland

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. 

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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Reframing Your Problems

Every so often, I get stuck. And I mean stuck. Like I don’t want to move forward. Generally something has happened that triggers some emotions in me.

This is a basic human response that happens to everyone.

I hear from a lot of clients that time management is an issue:

“I don’t have enough time…”

“I don’t take time for myself”

“I don’t have time to exercise”

Time is relative. Last week two of my clients realized that they wanted to take some time for themselves during the week, yet felt it would be unproductive.

Reframing is looking at a situation from a different point of view. Very often with this process, people find a different way to look at their circumstances.

Once they were clear on why it was important to set aside time for themselves, both clients found time in their schedules – not because they changed what was there, they simply changed what they were looking for.

Once they found value in taking time for themselves, the time showed up on their calendars. The time was always there, they simply reframed their thinking around taking time for themselves and then they were able to see what they couldn’t see before.

Any time you want something and you feel the struggle of not being able to have it, try reframing your mindset – what is it you really want and how could you look at your situation differently?

And if you are stuck, please call me. I have learned a lot of tools over the years to get unstuck and I help clients every day move through challenges. Contact me and we’ll set up a time to talk on the phone.

 

© copyright 2014, Kathy Garland

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. 

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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Calm the Critic

Most of us have our own inner critic that tells us when we’ve made a mistake. And sometimes our inner critic chatters at us in the background when we are going for a goal, doing something differently than we’ve done before or attempting to perform in a situation where we’ve previously failed.

Common thinking says that if you’ve failed at something, chances are you will fail again and that you shouldn’t attempt it again and you should change course.

We’ve all heard stories of athletes who have been told they are too small, not talented or fast enough to make the team. And yet they kept on and eventually succeeded.  Uncommon thinkers like these are the ones that focus on their goals and dismiss the inner critic as well as the public critics.

I failed the driver’s license test the first time. It’s embarrassing, but I’ve always had test anxiety. Of course I had to take it again if I wanted to drive. Fortunately the second time I passed.

Negative self-talk is not based on your truth. It is based on someone else’s version of the truth and you’ve bought into it as though you have to match what they say and do.

Depending on our upbringing and the people we have in our lives, that inner critic can become very loud, like an obnoxious bird singing in our ear, incessantly.

It is a form of self-torture, really.

What would your life be like without such a loud self-critic in your mind?

What would be possible for you if you didn’t buy into everything that self-critic says you should or shouldn’t do?

It’s time to calm the critic within you. So how do you go about doing that?

The first thing to do is to acknowledge that sometimes you make decisions and base feelings on the inner self-critic’s voice. This causes you emotional stress and anxiety, which leads you to make ineffective choices.

The next thing to do is calm the inner critic by choosing to replace the negative self-talk with a more positive affirmation. Each time that voice starts nagging you, think of a positive affirmation to replace it. Come up with a thought that has only positive language in it.

These two steps will go a long way to calming your inner critic.

© copyright 2014, Kathy Garland

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. 

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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Use This Tip Now to Improve Your Results

This week I was reading an email from a friend who was sharing some goals with me. As I read it to absorb what she was saying, it occurred to me that she could do better.

I don’t mean I disagree with her goals. They were realistic and even optimistic. However, her email set my mind in motion around what I know about goals and going for what I want.

Think of the last time you set a specific goal. Chances are you either finished right on or pretty close. When we set a goal for something specific or ask someone for something we often get what we asked for or sought, that is, if we are committed and take action.

What if you could have even better results than what you declared in your goals?  

Next time you set goals add a few words at the end:

“…or something better.”

Adding this to your goals, dreams and plans expands your consciousness around your goal. It increases your awareness of what else is possible.

Let’s look at some examples –

1. Typical goal: 2 new consulting clients per month

Revised goal: 2 new consulting clients per month or even better. What if by only declaring two you leave yourself out of the picture for a new type of business or client?

2. Typical goal: I have <x> people on my mailing list by June 30.

Revised goal: I have <x> people or more on my mailing list by June 30.

Do you see how the energy of your goal feels more expanded? Improve your results with this simple tip.

I’d love to know how this works for you.

© copyright 2014, Kathy Garland

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. 

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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Five Ways to Speak Like a CEO

Billionaire Investor Warren Buffett captures the attention of his audiences, whether at an annual meeting, in a public speech or interview or through writing, with his personable and straightforward approach.

In studying his writing and watching videos of him speak, I’ve noticed a couple of communication traits that I feel are essential for a CEO or whatever level you are as a leader.

1. Be humble. Buffett speaks of his love for learning investing and says he was lucky to find what he wanted to do early in life.

2. Be genuine. He openly shares his success principles. He is straightforward in his answers to his shareholders at the annual meeting.

3. Be grateful. Buffett publicly acknowledges his mentors as well as his team who helps him generate the remarkable financial results of Berkshire Hathaway.

4. Be focused. He knows what he wants and has principles and rules he follows with absolute discipline. He communicates these to his team, his shareholders and in public speeches and interviews.

5. Be honest about your mistakes. He openly will share – and often have good humor – about investing mistakes. He talks about the reasons why and what he learned.

I got curious about his style when I received the 2013 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report this year. Usually I am bored reading annual reports but this one is much more engaging, in part, due to Warren Buffett’s open communication style.

A PDF of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report is available online and I encourage you to read the Chairman’s letter on Page 3 to see for yourself how he writes in his personable style.

For a complimentary consultation on your personal communication style, contact me  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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