No. 74 – How to Increase Your Value Today


People who are intellectually curious and constantly learning have greater economic value to themselves and their organizations. So learn a little (at least) about everything that you can. Take advantage of every opportunity your supervisor offers (and ask for more). But most importantly, make learning your responsibility.

Those who make a habit of learning things they need to know as well as things not directly related to them:

· Tend to be more imaginative, creative, and innovative

· Can do more things more quickly and effectively

· Have more to offer their teammates and colleagues

· Are able to make more of their productive abilities

· Are likely flexible, versatile, and forward-looking

· Can respond promptly to shifts in customer/superivor needs and preferences

Constantly learning new things isn’t just nice to do; it’s a must-do for anyone seeking lasting success. A good nighttime exercise is to jot down at least one thing new that you learned today. If you can’t, you have to come up with two tomorrow!


P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.


Photo: Got Credit

No. 73 – We All Matter

Posted on May 26th, 2016 by in Professional Growth

We all think we’re different, but there are more similarities than differences between us. What is most universal is most personal. Most everyone:

-feels not fully understood

-is the center of their own universe

-wants to see what they own go up in value all of the time

-wants to be appreciated, to feel powerful, to appear clever or smart

-wants to be happy

-wants to make their children laugh

-has a dark side, a part of us the world doesn’t see

-in a time of trouble, will assess their own exposure first then gradually the implications for their friends, their town, the social fabric, and their country

Reminds me of a friend who said to me, “Just like everyone else in the world, I am the smartest, have all the right answers, know what needs to be done, and am the best in the room….oh my, I almost forgot, I am the only one in the room!”

~ Debra

P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

No. 72 – Make Business Personal

People like to say business isn’t personal, but it is personal. All of life is people personally interacting with other people. Work is people interacting with people but with money and title attached to it. Personal doesn’t mean inappropriately intimate; you needn’t border on sexting.

If you connect on a human level, you more quickly connect on a business one. How? Simply ask the person about his interests, goals, and objectives; listen and remember what she said; later, bring it up. Connect human to human, not role to role, or gadget to gadget, or mano to monitor.

Who, what , when, why, and how are good words to use. Your tone must be one of honest interest and sincere inquisitiveness, not interrogation. Get to know the person behind the computer or the cell phone. Volunteer information about yourself as you ask about others. Every conversation, add a little bit more connection between you aside from the business purpose.

Find out, make note, and remember names of spouses, children, hobbies, and things going on in the person’s life. Remembering a small thing like a company anniversary, promotion, birthday, child’s name or interest will put you miles ahead of others.

Some hesitate to volunteer personal information or hang back when asked. They are not sure yet as to whether they can trust you. Over time they will learn they can. Even if they hesitate, inquire anyway. Give your own answer to the questions you ask of her, even if she doesn’t ask. Provide it nonetheless. You make it easy for her to get to know you and therefore be more open with you.


P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

No. 71 – If You Don’t Have A Sense of Humor, Get One

You will not succeed without a sense of humor. Many CEOs have told me they see humor as a test to whether they want to work with and be around a person.

A person with humor mainly takes the doubt level down a notch and the trust level up.

Good leaders aggressively seek out an amusing angle in dealing with others, whether through light humor in a serious situation or the careful use of irony.

Bringing appropriate fun to serious and not-so-serious situations also makes you a formidable force. In a recent study people under twenty-five and women of all ages were determined to be the least humorous in our society. Yes, I know there is a desire for both of those groups to be taken seriously; the irony is if you take yourself less seriously, people take you more seriously.

The most important reason for being good-natured is that it allows you a gentle way to speak difficult truths. If you want to get away with saying what needs to be said, use fitting humor.

One executive coaching client told me, “In my business a sense of humor is not a luxury – it’s a vital organ for survival.”

Seeing the funny side doesn’t mean you have to tell and forward jokes or add a smiley face to your e-mails. Nor is humor to grandstand and draw attention to yourself.

Humor is being human and personal. It:

-shows insight into human nature

-makes life and work more pleasant for you and others

-creates a relaxed, friendly environment; encourages others to do the same

-is a great equalizer across barriers of title, position, and role

-increases your likeability and improves connections

-saves time in developing affinity

-mitigates frustration

-diffuses emotion

-improves morale

-lowers blood pressure, yours and others you work with

As one friend put it, “Laughter gives you an instant vacation.”


P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

No. 70 – Grin and Bear It

Smile when you pick up or click on the phone and continue as you talk, regardless of who’s calling or what the conversation is about. The person on the other end of the line can hear a smile, she can also hear a frown, smirk, and rolling of the eyes. Your articulation improves when your jaw is loosened up; your voice intonation and cadence is more appealing; and you’re less likely to be boringly dull.

Your telephone voice is the equivalent of the in-person body language people use to size you up. They hear your sincerity, passion, enthusiasm, conviction – your personality – or lack thereof, in your voice. Their positive reading of you gets you set for a more positive outcome; similarly, a negative reading can start you off on the wrong foot, annoy, hurt your personal reputation and the reputation of your company, and cost you a connection.

Have a calm-intensity tone and tempo when speaking in person, on the phone, or on video: That being an audible, modulated, matter-of-fact tone of voice; steady and even-keeled without useless filler words (ah, uh, umh, okay, etc.). I call it a ‘pass the salt’ tone of voice because no matter how excited or agitated, you still usually have an even keel when asking for ‘the salt’ across the table. The expression is just a mnemonic device to remind you to speak like you’d like to be spoken to. Fast, high, shrill, studiously slow, sing song, brusque, too quiet, or too loud – each sends its own emotional message – generally not a positive one.

As one executive coaching client told me what his own father used to tell him, “Your words should be like canned green beans, soft and tender, not like corn nuts; makes it easier if you have to eat them later.”


P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

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