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No one likes a braggart. I heard once that someone in a meeting was talking about how much weight they lifted! Definitely too much information (TMI).  I would have liked to tell that person, “no one cares.” A person who brags may be seen as narcissistic, uncaring, sometimes insecure and not caring about others.  There are a few ways to talk about your accomplishments that don’t seem like bragging.

  • If you are talking about yourself in response to a question, it does not seem like bragging.

    For example, “How did you implement SAS so quickly and effectively?”  I directed the team to work together on a training protocol that would reach throughout the company to establish requisite skills. We then created the training programs, and related assessments and pushed that out to the entire company.  By the time it was implemented, people knew what they were doing.

  • When speaking about what you have done, use powerful verbs like directed, orchestrated, led, etc.
  • Balance speaking about successes with your challenges, to appear balanced, vulnerable and relatable.
  • Find a sponsor. Someone who will talk about you and promote you, possible mentor you, and recommend you throughout the organization.
  • Showcase others too, as appropriate. People like to be recognized for what they do. It is equally important to showcase your team and their individual contributions as well as yours.
  • Celebrate every win. Celebrate team successes with your team, and individuals successes with colleagues or close friends and family.  It is important to recognize your own success and to “own it.”

Source: John, Lesli K. “Savvy Self-Promotion,” HBR, May-June 2021.