What’s that at the end of your nose?
Are you too busy doing what you do, to notice your value?
Isn’t it often the first thing we say when someone compliments or comments on something we’re good at or something we find easy? - “oh, it was nothing, I always do it like this” or “oh, I’ve been doing this for years, it’s just what I do”. Hmm. This is a magical moment if you listen out for it. What you’re being given in that moment is one of the clues of what one of your special gifts actually is. Your special ‘secret sauce’ if you will.
The actual words people say about what it is you’re doing, tells you in that moment, about how they value it. Not about how you value it, but about how they value it and that, my friend, is where the true gift for you is.
Here are a few clues I’ve heard from clients and which others have heard from me, which when you put influential language and value around the words – now form the basis of how they express their gifts (rather than “hey, it’s just what I do”)
- A client who pulls multi-million pound building projects together from concept to ‘open day’. She’s able to understand and grasp the wider intentions and financial targets at the same time as being able to discuss the difference it will make to the bottom line if the windows have 2 locks on or three. She can zoom in and out – big picture/minutiae detail and now positions the value in what she “just does”.
- A colleague who can take complicated information with all sorts of techie references and abbreviation. She can then teach other people about it in language they understand, relate to and get excited about, without them having to be a ‘rocket scientist’.
- Another client who started her career as a PA and now heads a department of 10 managing Company Risk Exposures. “I just know what has to be done and how to make people feel committed” She’s so organised and personable and instinctively know what needs to be done – and is able to instigate it – without even really thinking about it. “it’s just what I do”.
- Me. “Walking into a room full of strangers on my own and engaging in conversation. It’s just what I’ve always done.” Another clue from other people – “oh my goodness, that’s my idea of hell, I could never do that…how do you do that?” Now I understand how valuable it is. If you can’t do that, you’re always going to hang back, miss out on connecting with people, think that you have to wait to have a chaperone and you might wait a very long time.
AND it’s so valuable for those of us who struggle with that “it” whatever it is.
Can you see here how easy it is to just assume what we’re good at, what we do confidently and easily is ‘just what we do’? Well, when you ask yourself a few key questions, this is where you’ll be able to put valuable distinctions around your own gifts. And your gifts are only true gifts, when you – and other people – are able to define and then appreciate them.
Here are 5 key questions for you to ask yourself to help unlock your gifts, gifts you might underestimate the value of. Note down your answers to 1, 2 and 3 without thinking about it too much. Then, after reading your responses, ask yourself questions 4 and 5.
- “What do people often compliment or comment on when I’m doing what I do?”
- “What do I seem to find easy and instinctive and yet other people seem either lost or confused about being able to do this?”
- “What is it that I can’t not do?” (hint – this is a ticklish question designed to show you that wherever you are, whatever’s going on, you’re probably involved in and engaging others with that gift of yours - whether they want you to or not!)
- “When I think of the value in what I’m able to do, what difference does it make to other people/my business/our clients” – you get the idea here.
- “If I stopped doing what I ‘just do’ - what would happen, what would the cost or effect be?”
Your responses to these questions – the exact words you use – will give us big clues as to what might be there right at the end of your nose. For you to be valued, to be understood and really be heard day-to-day, having ways to express the value you know you add is key for you. It’s how you get to stand out from the crowd and then show up and be valued.
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