Five Minute Exercise for Speaking Your Value

Five Minute Exercise for Speaking Your Value

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I share a quick and fun exercise for crafting your unique value statement so you can negotiate with power and poise. I also offer my free script “How To Ask For A Big Pay Raise”.

Click here to download the free script.


Full Podcast Transcript: 

Hello! Welcome to the tenth episode of Born to Thrive with Jamie Lee. I am your host, Jamie Lee. I work as a coach, speaker, trainer and I believe that we are all born to thrive. And I want to help you thrive. I want to help you close your wage gap.

If you write me an email at, I will send you my script on how to ask for a big pay raise. This script is based on a real life scenario. I will call my client Karina for the purpose of this podcast. And Karina, she used this script, a version of this script, to ask and get a 44% increase in her salary with stock options. So this script worked for her, and if you are somebody who contributes undeniable value at work but is underpaid for the value you bring, I think this script can help you. So please write me at (or click here to download the script).

Lately, I’ve been working on my own website. I was working with She Negotiates for the past year and a half, and I have decided to strike out on my own as a leadership and negotiation coach for ambitious women.

So, today I’ve been working on crafting my own unique value statements. If you listened to the previous episode, you would know that articulating your unique value is the first key practice for negotiation success.

What is your unique value?

Today I had to ask that to myself many times over, and I just come back to this over and over again: that I am here to help other people maximize their potential so that they can thrive. So that other people can thrive.

I really believe in serving others. I believe in making a contribution. I believe in doing work that has meaning, that is bigger than myself, and I’m really excited to do the work that I do, and I hope that you are excited, too. If you want to work on your unique value proposition statement, I have a really quick and fun exercise that I shared with Smith College alums on Monday night that I’d love to share with you.

So, here’s the exercise: Grab a piece of paper and pen. I’ll wait. If you have a piece of paper or if you are on your smartphone, if you can open your Notes app while you’re listening to this, do it. You’re going to make some very simple lists, and then at the end of it, you’re going to distill what you learn from this exercise into a succinct and cogent statement of your unique value. 

So, here’s the first list: What are you most proud of? What are you most proud of accomplishing in the past year, past month, past quarter? Don’t think too hard about this, just whatever comes up, write it down. Write as many as you can fit. And try to be specific, and if you have facts and figures, all the better. 

Then the second list is: What do you stand for? What are your values? And if you do have a specific negotiation conversation, and for the purpose of clarity, negotiation is simply a conversation where you’re trying to reach an agreement. So if you’re trying to get somebody to agree with you, and if you know them, what do they stand for? And what do they stand against? And what do you stand against? If you stand for something, then you’re definitely against some other things, right? So, just write those things, and compare your list against the things that you know the other side, your negotiation counterpart, also stands for or also stands against. In other words, find where you share values. So, that’s a list. 

And then the third list is where you can go really crazy. Crazy imaginative. What are you capable of? What is your future potential?

In the last episode, we talked briefly about how us women, we don’t always get rewarded for our future potential as much as men do.

This is something that Dr. Johanna Barsh found out in her gender research, and something that Sheryl Sandberg also talked about in her book, Lean In.

What is your future potential? What are you capable of? What’s possible? Be as imaginative as you can be. Don’t hold yourself back by the voice of the Itty Bitty Shouldy Committee that tells you, “Who do you think you are?!” If you can quiet that voice down, and just let yourself imagine all the things that you can do, what’s possible?

Okay, so now you have three lists.

The first is things that you are proud of having accomplished.

Second is the list of your values, and if you have a negotiation counterpart, and you do know them, and if you do know what they stand for or what they stand against, then you also know where you share values with the other side. So this is really important and useful.

Third, you have a list of your potential, your future potential. What can you do? What kind of leader can you be?

And finally, now that you have drawn this exhaustive list, I want you to distill the common themes, the key themes, the things that just keep popping up over and over again in terms of your proud accomplishments, your values, and what you are capable of and want to achieve. 

You’re going to distill this into one specific statement that goes like this: I _______________ , and this blank is an active verb, so that _____________________. 

I drive partnerships so that we can exceed our goals.
I connect the dots for our donors so that they can see the tremendous value that we deliver to our constituents.
I teach negotiation skills so that women can lead, influence and thrive. 

So those were three specific examples. I’d love to know what you come up with when you do this exercise. This was really fun to do in person earlier this week, when I led a negotiation workshop in Philadelphia. When people did this exercise and they got to share it with each other, there was this great sense of empowerment. They were like, “Yeah! This is what I’m capable of, and this is my unique value!”

And then, the second part to this is dovetailing it with your reasonably ambitious ask. So the unique value statement, if it is cogent, if it is to the point, if it is relevant to the listener, then what you accomplish by speaking your unique value statement is framing for mutual benefit. And then you can dovetail it with your ask by saying, “And that’s why I believe I deserve the high end of the going market rates, and that is $150,000.” Or whatever you want to ask for.

So to wrap this up, I hope that this quick and fun exercise helps you clarify your unique value, and helps you negotiate with confidence and power so that you can thrive. Thank you!

Ding! 5 Minute Exercise for Negotiation Anxiety

Ding! 5 Minute Exercise for Negotiation Anxiety

Articulating Your Value for a Big Pay Raise

Articulating Your Value for a Big Pay Raise