Let your accomplishments speak for themselves.
Don’t get a big head.
Nice girls don’t brag.
Have you heard any of these from well-intentioned parents or teachers? In a general sense, these statements are not bad advice.
What Happens When You Let Your Accomplishments “Speak for Themselves”?
But your career – and your success in it – is not general! It is very specific to who you are and the talents that you bring to the table. If you let your accomplishments speak for themselves, it will be a very quiet career indeed.
How do you toot your own horn without coming off as a braggart or having a big head?
3 Simple Strategies to Share & Embrace Your Accomplishments
First, learn to accept compliments on your work. Say “thank you.” If you find yourself wanting to deflect by saying “oh, it was easy!” stop, and simply say “thank you” instead. Recognize that the tendency to deflect with “it was easy” is an indicator of natural talent. You’ve just received valuable insight to a potential strength. A strength that can be further developed by doing more of what you just did. Don’t dismiss…embrace!
Second, share what you did that contributed to the success of a project. A focus on teamwork is appropriate, but not to the diminishment of what you contributed. Boasting and bragging without acknowledging a team is off-putting for sure. Sharing how you structured the project and brought it to completion with the help of your contributors = appropriate tooting of your horn.
Third, be specific. As you come to value your contributions (see the first item), you will be better able to articulate exactly how you contributed. Not only does this help others see where your talents can be used, it lets you see how they can be used. This is opportunity spotting at its best!
If You’ve Been Undermining Your Accomplishments, Stop Right Now!
The next time you want to deflect and defer and not toot your own horn, know that you are undermining your accomplishments.
Your accomplishments will not speak for themselves; you must give them a voice. That voice – your voice – brings credibility and builds trust. And that’s the key to bigger and better assignments in the future.
Now, let me know what you have accomplished lately! I’d love to hear about it!
Psst…This is Habit #1 in Marshall Goldsmith and Sally Helgesen’s book How Women Rise. It is the habit I overlooked “Reluctance to Claim Your Achievements.” No more! Learn from my experience via the webcast presented with the CFA Institute – No Risk, No Reward: Advance Your Career with Smart Strategies for Identifying Opportunities.