‘It is time to acknowledge when people do a great job that it is ok for them to talk about it and self promotion should not be something we shy away from, rather that we finesse our delivery’
High performers are typically so busy getting on with their jobs and adding value, that they often overlook articulating their value added and expect that this will be visible by all, in the outcomes they achieve.
Whilst this may be the case in an ideal world, the reality is that often your individual contribution may not be as visible or easily attributed to your personal expertise and energy. There is merit in ensuring that you are also able to articulate this in the right ways.
Appreciate that often, for high performing and humble people, this is not something you enjoy doing. However, you can do this whilst still maintaining modesty and without coming across as being self-serving and with an understanding that overlooking these opportunities may hinder your personal progress, promotion opportunities and overall profile within your organisation.
1. Seize opportunities to self-promote.
Take advantage of opportunities to talk to your manager about things that are going well and your accomplishments, and when asked, don’t try and be modest and shy away from these conversations. Weekly one-on-ones are a great time to highlight wins and accomplishments and, something that should not be a surprise is that managers love to hear about accomplishments and achievements, and will relish the opportunity to share good news and great results achieved by their team with others.
Formal performance reviews present as another opportunity for self-promotion and should be taken advantage of. This is your time to self-promote, don’t let this be a lost opportunity. Come prepared with your accomplishments and key achievements for the period with any financials around your impact and return on investment that you can produce. Give feedback and share your ideas and any other evidential outcomes and impacts which highlight your value.
2. Delivery with confidence and passion.
Most of us find it challenging to talk about ourselves and will do anything to avoid inflating ourselves or have others thinking we are doing so (very Kiwi of us).To gain more comfort talking about yourself, focus on your work and achievements, share stories and examples of challenges and how you have overcome these and what the outcome has been and results you have achieved. You can incorporate these into a discussion, without this sounding self-serving and ensure that the value piece is the takeaway. At the same time as you articulate your part, applaud efforts of others in your team, peers and people who were involved in some way.
3. Adapt for your Audience & Consider Timing
Understanding your audience, their style of communication and how they digest information is always important. For example , if you are talking with an extroverted Sales Leader then colourful language, story telling and high energy will be effective , versus a more introverted leader, who is more analytical, then present factual evidence and takeaways so that they can reflect and review in their own time, post the discussion.
Establishing the right timing for conversations and opportunities to self-promote is key to ensure messaging is received and digested well and is appropriate. As an example, it would be inappropriate to have this conversation when your manager is clearly distracted by a wider issue in the business, during restructuring or off-the-cuff, versus a booked one-on-one, where you have their focus and full attention.
4. Maximise Feedback Opportunities
If you are gaining feedback and recognition from other people, customers or divisions in your organisation or network, highlight this with your direct manager and ask for their thoughts, make a point of discussing in one-on-ones and you can do this whilst being humble and thankful for the feedback and dually highlighting your value and impact. Ask regularly for feedback and seek this out as this will encourage others to provide thoughts and opportunities to highlight the value you are having, on your behalf.
5. Self-Promotion Matters
Whether you like it or not, self-promotion is a necessary evil and your manager and business leaders will not always know every detail of how you have added value, unless you ensure they are made aware. They will want to know this information and when delivered with the right timing and in the right manner, this will only enhance your relationship and your profile and serve you well in terms of job security, promotion and development opportunities.
You have nothing to lose so go for it and start small today, with an example of how you are adding value and share this with a leader, your manager or a peer.
Michelle & Wayne are Directors/ Founders of Fusion Partners, specialising in Senior Leadership Search, Recruitment Services, Business Coaching & Consulting.