It is important to recognize that visibility and value are deeply symbiotic in your organization and industry. You already know that professional risks exist for busy business professionals who are invisible or undervalued in their organization. You do not want to be visible without providing value, and it is hard to demonstrate the value that you provide if you are invisible.
Research tells us that how we define something dictates the activities we subscribe to it. There is a famous example from the turn of the 19th century that illustrates this point. In an effort to change how the public perceived his company, the president of a railroad company declared, “We are not a train company – we are a transportation company!” Suddenly, by viewing his organization as a provider of transportation and not just an owner of trains, he created new customer perspectives and business opportunities.
Coming December 2nd!
I’m thrilled to announce my new podcast called “Be Brave @ Work with Ed Evarts: Stories About Courageous Steps in Your Workplace.”
Networking is, and will continue to be, an important professional activity for business professionals. I previously stated that 60 – 70% of employed individuals located their most recent job opportunity through networking. These numbers were corroborated in a poll I conducted on LinkedIn. I found that 59% of 1,339 respondents chose the category “by networking with friends and colleagues” as the strategy that led them to their most recent job. Therefore, networking seems to be three times more effective than using an on-line job board and almost three times more effective than using a recruiter.
There is little doubt that human beings have a need for social interaction and networking. In his landmark paper A Theory of Human Motivation (1943), Abraham Maslow concluded that, after fulfilling our psychological and safety needs, we must fulfill our interpersonal and “belongingness” needs. To paraphrase Maslow, individuals hunger for affectionate relationships with people and they will strive with great intensity to achieve this goal.
Now that you have your value meeting scheduled with your boss, what are you going to say? Here are some suggested talking points to help keep you on track and to make sure you cover the most important areas.
When you’re ready to have a value meeting with your boss, you can follow certain steps to ensure that you have a productive conversation. Most organizations across the globe are not having this type of discussion, so it really helps to have a plan in place and all your ducks in a row.
In my recent work with business leaders, three of them shared feedback with me that they had received from their boss as part of their annual performance appraisal process. Instead of a 30-60 minute assessment of their prior year’s performance, each of them instead heard something like “You’re doing a great job. Keep it up!” or “I loved your self-assessment. I totally agree.” And these weren’t 30-60 minute conversations. It was 5 minutes.