When we talk about communicating your value, we talk about personal branding. What oftentimes transpires for many people is that they do an extraordinary work, wait to be recognized, and get very discouraged when they do not get recognized the way that they feel they deserve. This is a vicious cycle that creates havoc in workplace engagement. With the right state of mind, it is completely fixable.
You see, while we are experts on everything that we have done and have spent much time diving into our project and investing our time and effort in it, our supervisors or team members have been doing other things. Their minds are focused on other things and cluttered with other things. There is just so mind information that the mind can process a day. From that perspective, to expect them to notice all the behind the scenes of our work, realize what it had to take and complexity and then take the time to recognize it, is at best, very optimistic and a bit naive.
It is our responsibility to highlight what we have done, where we have brought value and where we made a difference. We are the experts of the situation. We know the details. For that reason, it is our job to communicate that value effectively so that it can be easily perceived by the cluttered brain of the other.
So how do we do that? Here are three steps to keep in mind:
1. Clarify Your Value to Yourself First:
You know what you have done. You know that you are outstanding. But have you really had five minutes to sit with yourself and clearly define to yourself your value to the project in a clear and concise manner? You see, if you cannot define it well enough to yourself- how will your supervisor be able to perceive it clearly? You need to be able to define your value to the project in one to three short sentences. Then you need to write them down and rehearse them. You know how in elections candidates are crystal clear on a simple message of value and then repeat it over and over in every opportunity until it gets stuck in our head, whether if we agree with it or not? From now and on, this is how you operate.
2. Focus on the Impact of What You Do.
Your impact is what makes the difference. What you have done in order to create that impact is important, but it is the impact that your supervisor cares about mostly and how you’ve made that happen, is more up to you. And so clarify your impact to yourself first. Ask yourself- where did I make a difference? What was my ROI to this project or event? Once you have clarified it to yourself, communicate it clearly to your supervisor or team. When you are clear, so will they be.
3. Be Specific
When you highlight your value, focus on numbers, and anything either tangible or that can be clearly proven. Try to avoid anything abstract. You can’t argue with data. If you have data or anything tangible that supports your ROI, highlight it. Do not count on your supervisor to connect your value to the data. You do the work. You create the equation and you highlight the facts that support your value statement.
Doing your work without communicating your value is half the work done. From now and on, pledge to make communicating your value a part of your job and approach it like anything else that you do in your life and career – like a pro.