Early this year, I spoke at Encourage Her Network, a women’s networking group that focuses on promoting and connecting women in business. The topic was “Know Your Value.” When Shannon Johnson, founder of Encourage Her Network, gave me the title for their Signature Event, I was immediately inspired because it meant two things to me. First, the title implies that each person is valuable and second, that each person needs to know their value.
As the keynote speaker, I felt the responsibility to remind the women of how valuable they are and also to tell them why. So I decided to focus on four key areas:
Know Your Value as an employee, as an employer, as a leader, and as a person.
But before I get into each of those areas, let me describe the word “value” and “valuable.” The Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “value” as s a noun to mean “relative worth, merit or importance; monetary or material worth.” As a verb, value means “to calculate the monetary value of something, to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance, to regard or esteem highly.” So what determines if something is valuable? In regards to material things, it’s what people are willing to pay for the specific item, product, or service. In regards to people—every human life is valuable.
Each person has gifts and talents—a special natural ability or aptitude, what comes easy for a person to do. It’s important for a person to discover his or her gifts and recognize that every gift is valuable. It is also important to recognize the gifts and talents that others have. Then people can be ready to share their gifts with others and also learn to humbly ask for help when they need talents they don’t have. Why is it important to know your gifts and talents? Because each gift is valuable!
Know your value as an employee: Following the concept that each person has unique gifts and talents, it is easy to see that you, as an employee, bring your unique talents to the organization you work for. You bring your contribution to the team and also your individual potential to grow with the company.
Know your value as an employer: Many of us have the opportunity to be in management and leadership roles as well as owning your own business where you hire people. As an employer, you have a great opportunity to discover the gifts in the potential employees of your company and put them to use to fulfill the vision of your organization. Hiring people is a great privilege and you should not take it lightly. Also, as an employer, you bring value to your community by offering your products and services and thus you are contributing to society.
Know your value as a leader: Not everyone is a leader. Leadership is a gift and it should be taken seriously. If you are in a position of leadership, are you using your gifts to further the vision of your company? Are you leading others by helping them discover their own gifts? These are good questions to ask yourself that will help you recognize how valuable you are.
Know your value as a person: Why is it that we need to be reminded that we are valuable? We forget because we don’t hear it enough from others, not even from those who love us. So today, I want to remind you that you are unique. You are valuable! Knowing that you have value and that you, as an individual, are valuable is not just positive self-talk. It is a fact that you need to embrace. Once you know that you are valuable, your self-confidence will increase and you will be able to help others find their value too. You will become a stronger person and will inspire others to succeed in life.
I’m going to add one more area:
Know your value as a Latina leader: As Latinas, we have a special gift of a second language and also our heritage from a Latin American country. We bring our culture and flavor wherever we go and we must take advantage of that by creating awareness and sharing it with others. When I first came to the United States, I wanted to “melt in the melting pot.” That is fine but there was a point that I was forgetting my Spanish. Then I realized that speaking Spanish is a gift and that I must not lose it. Now I value it and appreciate it.
So today I want to encourage you to Know Your Value as an employee, as an employer, as a leader, and as a person—and as a Latina woman. You are unique. You are valuable!
This article was published on the LatinoAmericanToday newspaper at www.latinoamericantoday.com, March, 2016 edition.
The photo is a painting done by my sister and artist, Isa Tyler, called "Happy Flowers" and it's included in my book The Friendship Book.