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Mika takes the Know Your Value message on the road

The Know Your Value founder gave the keynote address and facilitated an impactful employee engagement event for Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia this past Friday.
Image: Mika Brzezinski participates in the Independence Blue Cross-Know Your Value employee engagement program on Friday, Sept. 20.
Mika Brzezinski participates in the Independence Blue Cross-Know Your Value employee engagement program on Friday, Sept. 20.Anthony Scutro

Know Your Value founder and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski hosted the third annual Know Your Value workshop in partnership with Independence Blue Cross at the new Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia on Friday.

The all-day event – attended by approximately 60 members of the 2019 Independence Know Your Value Class – featured panelists such as TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky, negotiation expert Carol Frohlinger, body language expert Janine Driver and executive career coach Liz Bentley, alongside other notable speakers who focused on negotiation, confidence building, emotional intelligence, personal branding and growing your career.

In her keynote, Brzezinski said that if you’re a woman, chances are you get up earlier, work harder and agonize more about the quality of your work in comparison to men.

“Chances are, you’re also taking care of a partner, kids and maybe a parent,” she said. “But what about you?” she posed to the attendees.

“When it comes to knowing your value, yes, money plays a role,” she added. “But most importantly, it’s about fulfillment and getting value back in all your relationships.”

Mika Brzezinski participates in the Independence Blue Cross-Know Your Value employee engagement program with TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky (center) and Erin Arvedlund (right) on Friday, Sept. 20.Anthony Scutro

Knowing your value is also all about communicating it effectively, said Brzezinski. And it can be scary if you’ve never done it before.

Her advice for finding your voice: “Get some practice. Speak at church. Make a toast at a party. Find the words. See what works. What feels right and what feels wrong in your overall delivery. Find your voice and figure out what message works for you.”

The Know Your Value founder recounted how she had to discover her voice by trying again and again. “I practiced anywhere and everywhere I could. And I got a lot of no’s and rejection,” she said. “But one yes is all you need for the floodgates to open.”

Mika Brzezinski moderates the Independence Blue Cross-Know Your Value employee engagement program on Friday, Sept. 20 in Philadelphia. Featured are the selected employee participants from Independence Blue Cross.Anthony Scutro

According to Jeanie Heffernan, EVP of Human Resources for Independence, “We are thrilled with our long-term relationship with Know Your Value. The program exceeded the expectations of all of the Independence associates who attended and they are now extremely excited to continue their development journey.”

Here is Brzezinski’s key advice for knowing your value and communicating it effectively:

1. Don’t assume anything will be noticed.

Put it into words, and say it. A lot. Make sure you do that every day.

2. Stop apologizing.

Catch yourself when you do it. Apologizing your way into rooms and apologizing for your ideas immediately takes away from your message.

3. Get the facts.

Don’t go into a negotiation without knowing what your needs are, both non-financial and monetary. Know your goals and all the data to back up your requests. Maybe it’s not money you need most at this stage; maybe it is opportunity, new challenges, or help doing your job more effectively. Showing your desire for growth and expressing it is a great example of growing your value.

4. Communicate what you need.

Identify what it is you need most and practice communicating this in a crisp and confident way. For example, you might need or a reduced schedule for a period of time. Communicating these things is not a sign of weakness but instead a sign of your commitment to the organization which is important for your employer to know.

5. Respect first, friendships will follow.

If your negotiation or business meeting felt like a terrific, friendly, fun conversation, chances are you have just had a completely ineffective meeting. Negotiating isn’t supposed to feel good; the results need to be good.

6. Push back in real time.

Women really struggle with this. When something is wrong, it’s wrong. And you need to say it. A good pushback can lead to an authentic relationship. Or a better one.

7. Learn to press reset.

Men are amazing at this. You don’t have to hang on to negative things the way many women do. Women tend to remember everything - it's a waste. The other person likely doesn’t remember all the details of your last interaction, even if it was poor. Press reset and see how this technique can pay you back!

8. Dig deep and be in the moment!

What is it about your job that you are passionate about? Learn to put it into words and say it a lot! What makes your eyes light up? Find out what you love even in a job you hate. If you had two minutes with your boss, how would you articulate these thoughts? Get that two minute speech ready now!

9. Dress for your message, don’t distract from it.

You can dress with your own personal flair and style but be mindful of the dress and culture of the organization. You want your appearance to enhance your message, not give others something to focus on besides what you bring to the table.

The Know Your Value-Independence Blue Cross employee engagement program promotes leadership development, negotiation and personal branding strategies for selected IBC employees.