Kathy Murphy

If someone were to ask you what is the main reason people seek you out, would you be able to tell them why you think they do? When was the last time someone sought you out? I’m referring to the type of seeking when someone tells you that you are the only person they think who can fill-in-the-blank.

How did it feel when you heard someone say this to you? Were you surprised, happy, honored or did you want to run in the opposite direction or hit the make yourself invisible button? When you consider the last time someone came to you for guidance, consider what type of advice they were looking for. Is this a common request you receive from others? Or, would you classify the types of reasons people seek you out as being diverse?

Depending on the scenario you are in, and whether it is at work or outside of work, the type of guidance people are asking you for may be different. For the sake of focus, let’s choose the office as the place people what to engage with you. Is there a pattern to the type of information you are talking to them about? Are the people all members or your team, or are they from various departments and management levels?

Generally, if people from various management levels are coming to you for guidance, consider yourself for starters to be a tremendously good listener. You are also someone who others perceive to be discreet, and someone they can confide in. The seekers also perceive you to be quite knowledgeable and capable of giving them credible advice. Consider this an honor, and something which is referred to as a “trusted advisor”.

If your hook is being a “trusted advisor”, who do you go to, and at what point in work scenarios or your career have you sought out this individual? It’s possible there are multiple people you consider to hold this designation. Why? Because since you are one for others, it is easier for you to identify others who are similar to you, and who can provide you with the guidance you need.

Charismatic people have a gift over others who would not be described this way. However, they can also take on the burden of many people leaning on them for advice due to their favorable nature of interacting with others. The advice I give to people with this “gift” is to make sure they guard against the feeling of burn out from others continuously tapping into them.

If you are wondering how to determine what your hook is, here are (5) ways you can go about determining what it might be.

  1. Think about the last 2-4 times someone came to you for advice. Were they all asking for the same type of advice?
  2. If the advice people were asking you for was similar, how would you classify and categorize the advice? Was it leadership advice? Did it have to do with communication? Or, was it related to how to accomplish something you could help them to determine how to do so?
  3. Let’s say the type of advice people you are asking about is varied. That’s not a bad thing, as people see you as a multi-dimensional person who can help them with numerous challenges. However, I suspect there is still a theme you could apply to the type of advice people are asking you about. Can you come up with a theme?
  4. Ask the next person who seeks you out to help them, why they did so. This will help to reveal additional insights into perhaps how others perceive you. You can repeat this question with others to see if there is a distinct or any type of pattern and clues as to what your “hook” is.
  5. If the suggestions above are not providing you with clues or a definitive reason or reasons people are coming to you, ask a few people who are your trusted advisors to tell you what they think your hook happens to be. Are they telling you the same thing, or something entirely different?

When you determine what your hook is, this can be part of what I call your personal value proposition. The better we understand how and why others want to engage with us, the more opportunities we will have to help them, and in turn, put more coins into our Karma bank.  

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