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How people spend their time, money, and energy is where you will find what they value, according to Melody Wilding, performance coach and human behavior professor at Hunter College. However, this does not address the objectivity of your perspective. People assume that because they feel an object or activity has value, then it must have value for others, as well. You can have the most incredible peanut shell collection in the world, but if someone else doesn’t place value on that collection, well, there isn’t a market for it.
At work, people are assigned projects for which they are responsible. While it may not be where they would elect to spend their time, nonetheless they spend their time on the project, and thus see the value in it. However, for those who are not impacted by the project, they may not see the same value. Therefore, it’s important for that project leader to articulate the value in a way that conveys value to others in the company. Too often, people become frustrated by the lack of interest from other participants on the project and it loses momentum. The project leader may not recognize the momentum decline or a simple value proposition mismatch because they are so close to the situation. There are three steps you should follow to understand the value of the project and better articulate the value to your team and other people from whom you seek project engagement.
Know Your Why
First, you need to understand the potential value of your project, to yourself and others. Ask yourself deeper questions that reach beyond the face value of the project.
- What else does this project bring to the company?
- Who benefits from this project?
- How will this project make an impact?
Think in terms of resources and values. Most companies are interested in saving time or money, so if the project helps us use resources more efficiently, that would be a key item to highlight. Most employees want to work for a cause that aligns with their values. If the project has a positive impact on communication, inclusion, or sustainability, this would also be a key item to highlight.
Find a way to convert your “why” into terms that relate to your audience and help motivate others to see value. You can’t blame anyone for not finding value in your pitch when there are a lot of things competing for their time and resources. Each team has its own projects and its own priorities. Having a greater understanding of the potential value of your project outside of your own world will help you engage others.
Understand Your Audience
After identifying all different angles of why the project matters to other people, the next step is to address those specifically to your audience. Taking the time to identify the priorities of others can quickly highlight areas of importance for them. It can shed light on how their performance will be measured, and if your project doesn’t help them, it can be difficult for them to justify spending time supporting your project.
- What resource limitations and challenges are they facing?
- How do they perceive their responsibilities?
- Who benefits the greatest from this project, and how can I get their buy-in?
Determining this can help you understand their own motivations and enable you to communicate more strongly knowing that the project values align with their own values.
Find The Motivation
It’s not the sheer greatness of the project from your perspective that will unite people to support, participate, and move a project forward. People want to make an IMPACT and to be part of something successful. People can only be part of something when they know that they can have an impact – that they and others will be better for them having been part of the project.
When you align values of individuals, you can help identify the common motivation. This is how you can maximize your project’s value, both to you and everyone it impacts.
Brewer Science is a company that believes deeply in sustaining long-term success through value-based culture, diversity, and growth. Learn more about Brewer Science’s company culture.Leadership, Tom Brown, Culture