A Homeless Mom learns how to convey Value..

As many of you know, I volunteer every Thursday morning at The Star of Hope Homeless Mission; teaching job search, resume-writing, and interview skills to the residents there.  This particular mission is an emergency shelter for women & families; and we have been packed (www.sohmission.org) .

This week, I had a wonderful conversation with a woman who was getting ready for a couple of interviews.    I cannot go into detail, but let’s just say that she has really turned her life around.    The great news is that her husband just landed a temporary job working with computers.  The tough news is that her high-school senior daughter is living with grandma while they are at the homeless mission (not enough room at grandma’s for everyone).

As she was talking, you could clearly see how much this lady wanted a job; so, it was a great opportunity for me to help her with a few lessons:

1.  Consider what your value is; then, believe it.  When she was talking about her interview,  her first thought was to say, “I hope they will pay me $10-12/hour.”    My question to her was: what do you think your skills are WORTH.  For her, as well as many individuals and business owners, you must know exactly what value you can bring to others.   Whatever that number is, believe it!

2.  Once you believe it, then focus on how well you will COMMUNICATE your value.  For this homeless mom; after I asked her what her skills were worth, we worked on how those would be clearly communicated to the interviewer.  One of the biggest things I help both the homeless residents AND business owners with is that your value is not WHAT they can do; it is the benefit others feel they will get from you.  So, instead of saying on your resume’, “I answer phones”; write, “You will find that my Customer Service skills and positive attitude will provide your callers a friendly, helpful voice to serve their needs.” (secret..this also helps with automated screeners and search engines).

3.  PRACTICE with visualization how you will communicate your value.   What I helped this lady understand is that your brain cannot differentiate between vividly imagined experiences and actual experiences (this was a big “a-ha” to her).  And, aren’t we often better when we do something the 5th time versus the first?  So, if you are going into an interview, a sales presentation, or just a networking event; spend some time visualizing the best possible outcome.  Do this when there are no distractions around; and you will be amazed at the power of your mind (and your increased success) when the “real” thing happens.

The fact is: if you are an employee or a business owner, and are not receiving what you believe you are worth; then your next step is to find a way to better define and communicate your value to others.

So, do this simple exercise:

  • Sit down and just start writing down everything you do that has value.
  • When you have done that, then ask yourself how you could communicate each item so that others will see the value in your offering.
  • Finally, spend time visualizing how you will communicate that with those who could benefit from what you offer.

Comment below if you find any “aha’s” between what you have BEEN doing (and perhaps not been getting the results you want); and what you will change going forward.

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