Mika Brzezinski Shares Five Ways To Grow Your Value At Work
“You know I like the idea of being relentless. If you ask Joe what my qualities are he would say relentless. And he would say it with respect. I am still in the business after age 50. After being fired or ‘phased out’ or kicked down because I am relentless. This is a quality that usually applies to men and I think women can have it too,” says Mika Brzezinski co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and author of Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You're Worth.
Brzezinski released her book in 2012 and in it she shares her first-hand experience of negotiating at work. Brzezinski says this book essentially became a list for women of ‘what not to do’ at work.
“We apologize too much. We self-deprecate too much. We don’t raise our hand. We play the victim. We feel like we need to be friends with everybody. We often feel like we need to fill a room with words in the middle of a negotiation - to make the other person feel comfortable. We don’t know how to press reset when something goes wrong. In the process of time to rectify a very bad deal that I signed I made all of these mistakes,” she says.
Brzezinski's advice has evolved over time from a list of ‘what not to do’ in her first book to a list of ‘what to do’. She plans to share this career advice in the re-release of Knowing Your Value, in late 2018 followed by a further two books Comeback Careers, for re-launchers, and The Millennial Challenge, for millennials.
"The messages I share on our platform Know Your Value have become even more important with the rise of Trump and the political landscape and the setbacks from all the headway that were made for women during the Obama administration. It forced me to actually put some of the ‘what to do’ techniques into practice." Here, Brzezinski shares five ways that she believes you can grow your value at work.
1. Dig deep
It all starts with digging deep. It is about learning how to not just have a data filled message about why you have value, but rather to dig deep and find out why it drives you. Women are driven by their passions. By their connections with people. By the people that they love.
I have found - as I have coached women over the years, to get up on stage and pitch their value - that if they dig deep and figure out what their life is really about and who they really are, then their messages become effective and dynamic.
2. Use what you have
We need to use our qualities - that involve kindness, love, relationships, passion and drive to enhance our ability to communicate effectively. This usually changes your message and what your pitch really is. When a woman knows her value, and knows what she wants, she is extremely hard to stop.
3. Press reset
When you have a bad experience with a person in the workplace press reset tomorrow or even press reset in the moment. Men do this all the time. We joke at my events that men don’t remember anything, which is why they are so good at resetting but it is actually an amazing talent.
Men move on. We hold onto things. We talk about them. We confide in people. We create this whole aura of negative thinking around a person or an event and we just have to move on. It is about not over emotionalizing events, meetings, bad interactions, bad experiences and moving the hell on. Commanding respect in the next moment with the very same group or with the very same person or boss.
4. Push back in real time
Women tend to be in situations that are uncomfortable or that they don’t agree with and we don’t say something right then and there. And then we lose the opportunity to be respected. We need to have judgement to be someone who knows what they are talking about and says it. Even though it may feel very uncomfortable we need to push back in real time.
Also, every time you get a no, if you really want to do something go back and ask again. Go back a month later. Bring a better case to the table and show why it is more viable or more important now.
What does a no mean to a guy? It means move on to the next possibility. It means try again. We tend to let go of things, because one person didn’t like the idea and that one person has power.
5. Wait it out
We need to learn to wait it out when negotiating - and this we are horrible at. Women tend to lurch into deals. We just want the deal done. We want to feel safe. We want the uncomfortableness to be over with.
Men are awesome at dragging it out. They will work side by side with someone in a horrible negation and it will not even make them flinch. We sweat bullets when we are in negotiations and if it lasts more than a day we are waiting by the phone and up late at night talking about it.
I did what Joe does all the time in his negotiations. That is to wait. So, you have got a good deal? Yeah well, don’t tell them today. Tell them next week. Tell them when you feel like it. Women want it done, men wait.
Waiting creates a scenario where we are much more in control of our futures, our paths and situations because we are operating as if it is just business - because that is exactly what it is.