Editor’s Note: Johnson & Johnson is a proud sponsor of the Know Your Value tour, a nationwide effort focused on empowering women to express their worth in business and in life, based on the book, Knowing Your Value by best-selling author and Co-host of Morning Joe, Mika Brezezinski. J&J recently spoke with Mika to find out more about her book, her tour, and the Know Your Value movement.
Q: What led you to start the Know Your Value movement?
A: This message is personal for me. It took me 25 years to understand that I played a role in quantifying my success. For too many years, I let others do the talking and made the same mistakes time and time again. Over the past five years, I have been studying and writing about this in my books including Knowing Your Value as well as my upcoming book Grow Your Value. I have drawn from the most important voices on this topic. Through all of this, I’ve made significant changes in my own life as well which I look forward to sharing with all of you.
Q: Why do women in particular seem to lose their voice when it comes to advocating for themselves at work and in life?
A: Women are fierce when it comes to protecting, defending, and augmenting the success of others — their spouses, their children, their bosses…anyone but themselves! When it comes to knowing our own value, we tend to shut down or worse: we self-deprecate and apologize our way through the conversation. Most men will walk into the boss’ office and tell him or her that he needs a raise. Women are more likely to assume their hard work will be noticed and that the rewards will eventually come to them.
Q: What advice do you have for anyone trying to find their voice at work or in life?
A: Practice — and don’t do that for the first time at work during the negotiation. Practice many times and many ways before you get there. Role play with a friend, get your data so you’re not just chattering about nothing. You need to have something concrete to say. Understand what it feels like to be in negotiation mode by getting up and speaking in public, whether it be making a toast at a party or reading a prayer in church. Put yourself in a situation where people are looking at you and listening to you. And get used to it.
Q: What role does health and wellness play in knowing your value?
A: It plays a huge role because it impacts the visual message you send when you walk in the door. If you are healthy and happy, chances are you will look like somebody who is really put together in life. It makes it a little more difficult to invest in someone who does not seem to have it together. Being healthy is a lifelong chore, not something you can whip together in a week. You have to make health part of your life with sleep, exercise, and good food.
Q: How is the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute playing a role in teaching women to know their value?
A: The Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute is the pioneer in training business leaders to achieve sustained high performance by expanding and managing their energy. I’ve met the coaches and they do a great job developing life-changing programs that take a holistic, mind and body approach at helping individuals achieve their best at work and home and training participants to make fundamental life changes. HPI’s Corporate Athlete Program helps people become physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and completely aligned with achieving their personal mission so they can achieve their personal best both at work and at home. As a working mother of two I know how important it is to manage your energy so you can bring your best self to work and be your best self at home.