find your value and demonstrate it: shrm 2015 keynote recap

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My perception of someone on TV is that they have it all together. They’re confident. They’re composed. And, they’re capable of handling any situation that comes their way. During her #SHRM15 keynote, Mika Brzezinski–TV co-host of the “Morning Joe” show–was all of those things: confident, composed, and capable. On stage she demonstrated a sense of power and purpose.

But the story she proceeded to share during her keynote revealed that, as a woman, she hasn’t always embraced her value or her power.

Brzezinski’s realization that she needed to understand, embrace, and demonstrate her value came about after she negotiated a terrible 3-year contract with MSNBC. With the effective use of “f-bombs” and the ability to exaggerate with conviction, her male co-host was able to land a contract that would earn him 14% more than her.

That 14% gap motivated Brzezinski to re-negotiate her contract. What she learned in the process inspired her to not only grow her own value but also inspired her to write a book and encourage other women to do the same through the Know Your Value Movement.

To the 15,000+ members of the audience (many of them women), Brzezinski cited these common “girl feelings” that she says have no place in business:

  • “Will they like me?”
  • “They’re going to be so mad.”
  • “I’m sorry.”

If you want to advance your career and demonstrate your worth, Brzezinski urges you to abandon those phrases and that approach. And while you’re at it, get over being grateful. Your employer is lucky to have you.

How can you demonstrate your value to your employer?

  • Know your personal brand.
  • Know what you bring to the table.
  • Quantify what you bring.

This might be out of your comfort zone. She gets that. It took her several attempts of marching into her manager’s office before she got a new contract. But she kept at it. And now it’s clearly her mission to help others do the same.

You don’t have to be on TV to be confident, composed and capable. As you return home after #SHRM15, don’t let this message stay in Vegas. Get out there, be fabulous, be aggressive (in a good way) and get the job done. If you find yourself nervous, remember Brzezinski has your back.

By liz sheffield
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