Don’t just say you’re good. Broadcaster Jen Mueller shares tips on how to make a success statement that connects you to the person who started the conversation.
It’s a conversation that plays out countless times during the day, following the same script nearly every time.
Question posed: “How are you?”
Response given: “Good,” “Fine,” or maybe “Great!”
That exchange happens so often it’s easy to overlook. You might see it as a polite way to engage in conversation or as an icebreaker, but here’s how you should view that exchange: as an invitation to seize your next opportunity.
If you want potential employers, managers or colleagues to acknowledge your contributions or see your upside, you need a way to bring your talents to their attention.
You need to flip the script, deviate from the conversation norm and formulate a “success statement.” Here’s what it could sound like:
“How are you?”
“I’m excited! I graduated this month and I’ve already got three job interviews lined up.”
Or “I’m great after completing a big project at work two days ahead of schedule.”
A success statement answers the initial question of “How are you?“ and includes a recent accomplishment that connects you to the person who initiated the conversation. It’s a direct statement that opens the door to a longer exchange and makes a good impression regardless of what follows in the conversation.
Keep these things in mind when formulating your success statement:
A success statement is not an elevator pitch. It’s one sentence during a casual interaction that spotlights your success and directs the conversation in a way that benefits your career. It takes the guesswork out of what you want to talk about and provides an easy follow-up opportunity for the person you’re talking with. When that happens, you can share more details and talk about yourself without bragging.
It’s not all about you. To increase the likelihood of being asked a follow-up question, remember success statements are specific both in the messaging and the intended audience. You’ll need more than one blanket statement to get the most out of the conversation. Think about who you’ll encounter during the course of the day or the week. Consider their objectives compared to the message you want to convey.
You’re more than “good.” It’s still a productive exchange even if you don’t get asked a follow up question because you took the opportunity to showcase your skill set or a recent accomplishment. You don’t know when that conversation will come back around to you, but it certainly has the potential to do more for your career than if your initial answer was “I’m good.”
Conversation skills count. Success statements also give you an opportunity to demonstrate your conversation skills, which will get you further in your career than your résumé. A great résumé will help get you the job, but your ability to communicate is what helps you advance in your career. According to a survey by HR software provider iCIMS, 94 percent of recruiting professionals believe an employee with stronger soft skills has a better chance of being promoted into leadership positions than an employee who has more experience but lacks soft skills.
The way you handle daily interactions can set you apart, make a positive impression and influence others to see you differently and recognize your potential. Don’t waste face-to-face interactions or resort to just saying “I’m fine” or “I’m good.”
Jen Mueller is the author of “The Influential Conversationalist” and a sports broadcaster based in Seattle. She is member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team for Root Sports and the Seattle Seahawks sideline radio reporter.