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By Mika Brzezinski

Mika Brzezinski spent International Women’s Day by heading to Detroit to spread the Know Your Value message to the members of the Women’s Alliance of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

During her opening remarks, Mika shared how she learned to advocate for herself and communicate her value effectively. Below, is an excerpt of what she shared with the group:

I want everyone to have tangible strategies that will allow them to grow in their jobs, at their companies and most importantly in their lives.

It’s about getting value back. And communicating your value effectively takes all of your tools.

It takes your brain, the facts you bring to that table.

It takes your eyes. Can you connect, intensely when necessary.

It takes your voice. Simmer down, raise it shake it up. But always own it. Develop range in your voice. If there is one area where I fully support being a complete control freak it would be with your voice.

And then there is posture. Practice good posture every day. Do not slither into obscurity because you cannot stand up straight. Bad posture is slumping as if you don’t care. Twisting and fidgeting says stress.

You have to own your space. Be comfortable in it. And for many of us, what we are wearing matters and sends a message.

Standing in front of people is a great way of learning what works for you.

For many of us, all this does not come naturally. So why would you be able to do it when it really matters? When it’s all on the line??

So, practice. Set yourself up for success. Get good at doing something extremely uncomfortable, which for me was speaking in front of people.

Learn how to perform for yourself, because no one can do this for you.

You will find your relationships will change as you become more mindful about how you communicate.

So what if you don’t exactly know what your brand is, or how to put it into words?

Dig deep. Pitches become far more passionate and effective when you are going with your gut. It’s far more important and way more convincing when you own your voice because if something drives you, chances are it will drive others to invest in you.

And find out why what you do matters to you, and learn to love talking about it.

For women, this is key.

We are better about our passions and the people in our lives. Digging deep usually turns a weakness or a vulnerability into a strength.

Men are more than comfortable talking about themselves. They can go on forever.

Women are self-aware enough to be self-conscious when they do the same.

Stop.

If you don’t tell your team, your boss, your family that you deserve value, no one else will. You are the champions of everyone else. Now do it for yourself.

Don’t assume anything will be noticed. Men don’t. Put it into words, and a lot. Make sure you do that every day.

Stop apologizing. Need I say more?

Get the facts. Don’t go in there without knowing your monetary value, your goals and real reasons to back that up. Respect first. Friendships will follow. Value is about respect.

If it feels like a terrific, friendly, fun conversation, chances are you are not doing your job.

This isn’t supposed to feel good, but the results need to be good. So, be serious.

Learn how to push back in real time. Women really struggle with this. When something is wrong, it’s wrong. Say it.

Remember it’s not personal. This is not about feelings, it's about value. Friendships will follow. And the ones that do will last a lifetime! We take things so personally and carry the bad moments with us.

Learn to press reset. I learned. You may have read in “Knowing Your Value,” I did it four times with the same boss in the course of the year. Women tend to remember everything – it's a waste.

Press reset with confidence and the situation likely will follow.

Follow these principles until you own them!

Men are a huge part of this. Because this message is also for your wives, your sisters and your daughters – and maybe yourselves too.

The Know Your Value message is ultimately universal. For all of us, no matter what our gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, background or physical limitations, we all deserve to know our value.