Tactful Self-Promotion Takes Just Seconds!
Promoting yourself tactfully does not have to take a lot of time – it just takes building certain habits and being ready when moments present themselves. Imagine you’re walking down the hall at work and you run into your boss who asks, “How’s it going?” This is an opportunity to practice the art of tactful self-promotion, yet most of us unwittingly pass it up.
Here’s a true story that happened to Richard, my co-author, earlier in his career. He and a colleague, Laura, were designing a career transition program. They ran into their boss, Tim, in the hall. When Tim asked how things were going, Laura responded with enthusiasm, “Great! I just finished the design for the new Interviewing Skills seminar that we’ll pilot on Friday. It’s pretty fun, and I think it’ll help our clients get jobs faster!” Tim replied, “Sounds great – let me know how it goes!”
Tim then turned to Richard, asking, “And how are you?” Richard looked up and replied, “Fine.” After Tim left, Laura jabbed her elbow into Richard’s ribs and burst out, “What were you thinking? Do you expect him to read your mind? You’re doing all this great work – how do you expect him to know what you’re doing if you don’t tell him?”
That’s the dilemma many of us face: we’re doing great work, but we don’t know how to make sure those who have influence over our careers see our contribution. I think you’d agree that Laura wasn’t obnoxious, and didn’t come across as bragging or pushy about selling her value. But after the conversation, her boss knew what she was doing and what value she was adding; and what did he know about Richard? That he was “fine.” Richard definitely missed an opportunity.
Laura’s response demonstrates one practice of the art of tactful self-promotion: telling people what you’re doing. She is confident of and recognized for her achievements, but isn’t constantly telling people how awesome she is. She finds creative ways to further her cause and promote her interests. If she doesn’t who will?
If you’d like more information on how to practice the Art of Tactful Self-Promotion, visit our website, www.tactfulselfpromotion.com, or look for our book, Power Your Career, The Art of Tactful Self-Promotion at Work, in bookstores or on Amazon.