Many women with successful careers will point to effective self-promotion as an essential tool they leaned on to help propel them up the career ladder.
When you think about it, there can be lots of hurdles to overcome when it comes to getting this “art form” right…take too braggish of a tone and you’re not credible, craft too long of a story and risk losing your audience, etc. In addition, self-promotion might not be an instinctive behavior, particularly if you self-identify as an introvert.
Done well, self-promotion should be approached as a marathon vs. a sprint. Ideally, the goal is to showcase consistently over time how you think, solve problems and seize opportunities vs. a one-and-done share out.
Here are five tips on how to self-promote with grace, confidence and credibility.
- Get the “who” right – Think about your opportunities to influence upward, downward and sideways. It’s often best to preview with your manager so she’s in-the-know and can even coach on areas to showcase. Once vetted, share outcomes and lessons learned with a broader audience and/or senior leadership.
- Share the good, bad & the ugly – Often our instincts aren’t to show vulnerability and instead to focus on positive results. Your insights will be viewed as more credible if you’re not just gushing about a project’s success but also sharing opportunities for improvement and what you learned along the way.
- Lift up while climbing – Share the credit by using both “I” and “we” to recognize your unique contributions as well as the efforts of those on your team, business partners and yes, your managers. After all, if they look good, you look good. And, if they’re happy, you’re happy.
- Don’t make it one-way – Consistently acknowledge colleagues’ contributions to projects (yours or their own) to demonstrate your interest and support. And, privately and publicly say thank you to your team for their efforts, often.
- Embrace brevity – More people are likely to read/listen all the way through if you send an email or share a presentation that tells a great story, concisely.
We’d love to hear other tips that have worked for you, even lessons learned from major fails!
2 CommentsLeave a comment
I once had a colleague who used “I” in every report she gave. It got to the point where eyeballs rolled whenever she spoke. Her staff rebelled by leaving for greener pastures. My point is that people do notice if you are a credit hog.
And I agree with sharing the good, bad and ugly. This same person surprising had nothing but success stories to share. Our budget told another story.
I make a point to always personally and publicly thank my team or colleagues in other departments for their support or work (and even if I don’t believe they contributed much!). I believe being generous with my gratitude has made others want to put in the extra effort for me. And if I can name drop in front of other executives or our board, even better. It’s so easy to do and the benefits continue long after the meeting.
Autumn, great points. I think everyone is afraid of being THAT person. Love the acknowledgement practices that you mention too.