Self-Promote without Bragging

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Matt, all three of our kids, Jordan, Ethan, and Reese, Jordan and Ethan’s girlfriends, and our parents were all sitting out around the patio table, enjoying this beautiful brunch together, celebrating. We hadn’t been together all as a group in quite some time. So through this celebration I find myself, without hesitation, without even blinking an eye, bragging about all three of the kids.

I wasn’t setting the stage saying, “Hey everybody, get ready. I’m about to go one by one, bragging about each of the kids.” No, just throughout the day either talking about something amazing Jordan’s doing at work, Ethan with school, or Reese with lacrosse – and again, without hesitation. And we do that, right? We do that, we love to brag about our kids or somebody close to us.

We will brag, without hesitation, about almost anyone – except when it comes to bragging about ourselves.

We have such a resistance, we almost don’t ever want to do it. Yet in the professional world, you know that you need to be sharing your accomplishments; you need to brag about yourself. Whether or not you’re getting ready to go into a formal performance review or you just finished something or accomplished something amazing, you should be bragging about it.

But how do you do this without sounding arrogant or like you’re bragging? Well, think about public companies. Public companies host brag fests at least once a quarter – they have to put together quarterly shareholder meetings. Their responsibility is to brag about the company to their shareholders, so their shareholders continue to hold onto and invest in that company.

It’s the same thing for you.

You should be holding a brag fest at least once a quarter to your investors, which is your manager or the company who’s hired you. They’re investing in you. You should be showing them exactly what it is you’re delivering, that not just warrants you having a job there, but that’s going to get them to invest even more deeply with you. And whether that invest more deeply with you means in the form of a raise or a promotion, expanded responsibility onto an international project, or whatever it is that meets your goals for the future, but that’s what you’re essentially doing.

Let’s take a page from the public corporation handbook and deliver the information in the same way. How do they do it? They do it through data and stories that show how it’s benefiting the investors. That’s simply all you need to do. When you are ready to share something that you’ve accomplished, do it with data and stories that show how it’s benefited the organization, your boss, your team, the clients that you serve, or the products that you created – it really is that simple.

Don’t delay, don’t hold onto this information or think that everybody knows. It’s your responsibility to communicate when you’ve accomplished something that’s great – showcase that, and know that you’re not necessarily doing it in a bragging way. You’re doing it in a way to really show how you are a valuable employee, leader, or executive at your company, and that they should continue to invest, and most likely invest at a greater degree, into you and your future. Comment below, let’s brag! What are you excited about right now?