I was reading the white paper “How CHROs Deliver Business Impact: 5 Things the C-Suite Should Know About Talent and How HR Can Deliver It,” available through Workplace HR & Safey, and it got me thinking about how HR employees are not the only ones who often feel the need to prove their worth at work. Who hasn’t occasionally felt undervalued in the workplace? Managers and executives, of course, should recognize their employees for the value they add to the organization, but the majority of the onus still falls on the employee to prove his or her worth. Follow this advice to communicate your value effectively:
- Keep a record of your accomplishments. Occasionally tooting your own horn doesn’t automatically turn you into an obnoxious braggart. Shoot your boss an email when a project you’ve worked on does exceptionally well; your boss will want to share in the excitement of your success. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated with your evolving skills and achievements, and don’t be afraid to ask others to write you recommendations for the site as well. (Naturally, you should offer to return the favor.) Keep a journal where you jot down notes about workplace accomplishments big and small that you can reference as you fill out self-evaluations and prepare for performance reviews. It’s easy to forget what you’ve done over the course of six months or a year, but those specific anecdotes and data can make a big impression on your boss and leadership team.
- Understand the big picture. Being really good at your position is important, but it won’t take you that far if you don’t understand how your position contributes to your organization as a whole. Practice articulating why what you do matters to the big picture. And keep the organization’s overall goals in mind as you work, always making adjustments to do what’s in your organization’s best interest rather than what’s easiest for yourself.
- Assert yourself in meetings. Don’t be shy about sharing ideas and joining discussions. Having great ideas is worthless to your organization if you don’t share them. They don’t have to be completely fleshed out; you can work with others to turn your spark of an idea into a winning concept.
How do you communicate your value at work?
[Image Source: USACE Europe District]
By Kendall Martin
One of the biggest pitfalls in workplace communication is a lack of confidence. We’ve all encountered supervisors or co-workers who, instead of addressing their concerns or speaking up, insisted on beating around the bush. It’s difficult to respect a superior or take a co-worker seriously when you sense that the person doesn’t feel confident enough to say what’s on his or her mind. Bottom line: Effective communicators are confident in both their words and their actions.
Ask yourself the following questions the next time you need to address an issue directly:
- Are you prepared? If you have already thought through what information you want to share, and how it relates to the conversation, don’t hold back. Come to the meeting prepared and you will be able to effectively communicate your major points.
- What is your role? Regardless of your rank in the organization, you have a job to do. As a manager, you are expected to handle situations and conversations that you may not be comfortable addressing. As an employee, you may have responsibilities, problems or concerns that you feel hesitant to address. Learning to accept all that your role encompasses is the first step toward moving past that lack of confidence and fulfilling your job duties, however uncomfortable they may be.
- What are your strengths? Focusing on your positive contributions in the workplace is a great starting place when preparing for difficult situations. Think of specific times you have flourished in your role, and use that positivity to drive out communication fears.
What tips do you have for overcoming communication fears in the workplace?
[Image Source: Amy Wilbanks]
The Ultimate Communicator Training Camp is headed to six locations in February. Put one of these stops on your calendar today:
- Feb. 6-7: Orlando, FL
- Feb. 8-9: Dallas, TX
- Feb. 14-15: Charlotte, NC
- Feb. 16-17: Atlanta, GA
- Feb. 21-22: Birmingham, AL
- Feb. 28-29: Miami, FL
Take advantage of this opportunity to improve your communication skills. You will learn how to influence people, adapt your message to different people’s communication styles and build your credibility. Check out the agenda for complete details.
These workshops, led by Carl Smith and Guy Harris, always receive rave reviews, like these:
“The facilitator and content delivery was the best I have experienced in memory. I was totally engaged from start to end of program and beyond. I was able to get to know and learn from all other participants. The biggest factor in my enjoyment was the style and energy of Carl Smith. I will be highly recommending this course to colleagues and friends.”
“Amazing, insightful seminar. Worth the two days. Very interactive. Would recommend to all.”
“I go to many of these, and this was at the top of my list as exceptional. Carl is awesome. I left wanting to communicate just like him—well done! It impacted me greatly.”
Click here to read more testimonials. We’re confident that you’ll both enjoy and benefit from this excellent event. See you there!
Have you attended one of our training workshops? Share your experience in the Comments section.
Here at Nitpicker’s Nook we tend to focus on grammar usage and spelling mistakes, but other communication errors can cause just as much confusion and harm to your organization’s—and your own—reputation.
In honor of National Poetry Month, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite performance poets, Taylor Mali. He explores one of these other errors—improper inflection—in his poem “Totally Like Whatever.”
Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.
Full disclosure: I spoke like this for years and still have to watch myself so I don’t slip back into it. When I was younger, even if I was completely confident of an idea I was sharing, I never sounded confident. I’d qualify my thoughts with “This is probably obvious/dumb/wrong, but …”. I’d end declarative sentences with the interrogative intonation Mali bemoans. Even my body language and facial expressions said “uncertain” loud and clear.
After years of this, I realized that my peers who spoke with conviction received more support even when their ideas were not as good as mine. I decided that I was tired of appearing meek and underconfident, and vowed to speak with certainty. It’s like quitting any bad habit, though. I have to be fully conscious of my choices or I risk being pulled back under, or something, you know? (Kidding!)
This communication trap is especially deadly in business. Your boss, peers and customers will all have a hard time taking you and your ideas seriously, which could cost you everything from promotions to sales. If you suffer from the “Totally Like Whatever” disease, pledge today to cure yourself. It’ll be well worth the hard work. I promise.
How have you witnessed others undermining their ideas with the way they speak? How have you done so yourself?