Want to Get Noticed? You’ve Got to Brag a Little!

Interview

By Kimberly Gerber

I know many of you just said . . .”What???”  When it comes to getting noticed, bragging is a big deal!  You’ve got to be willing to self-promote if you want to be promoted, or selected, or elected.  Self-promotion is the act of promoting yourself and it doesn’t have to be obnoxious.  In fact, graceful self-promotion will build self-confidence, your personal brand and help you achieve more in your career. There is an art to effective self-promotion, which is why we’re going to explain how to effectively use self-promotion to propel your personal brand image and get you noticed!

1.  Send Updates – This is the easiest way to start getting noticed. An update can be a simple email to your leadership team sharing some great news regarding the progress you’re making on a project, a project’s completion, results of an initiative, etc.  Updates like these keep your leadership in the loop and let’s them get some good news. Plus, your leadership might share it further with other members, which further promotes your accomplishments.

2.  Seize Opportunities – When the opportunity presents itself, be prepared to share some positive and impressive information about yourself.  Too often we think that our work should speak for itself, but it’s not always obvious to those around us.  So, if we want to get noticed, we’re got to talk about it.  Don’t worry; you don’t have to be obnoxious.  A short and simple statement is all it takes sometimes to create a positive impact. An example would be running into someone on your leadership team or a desirable client and they ask, “How are you doing?” Don’t just reply, “Doing well, how are you?” Instead say, “Doing great – I just finished a 6 mile training run. ..It’s going to be a great day,” or “Fantastic– we just launched the new company website and everyone is thrilled with the initial response!” Then you’d follow up with “how are you doing?” Did you notice how short and to-the-point that was? That’s all it takes to create an impact, and there’s no need for more unless asked.

3.  Accept Compliments Gracefully – When someone compliments you, say “thank you.” Too often people deflect or, even worse, reject compliments. When a compliment is deflected or rejected it makes the compliment giver feel affronted.  Meaning, they were insulted in return for their compliment.  A simple and gracious “thank you” will do wonders for your interactions.  Also, be sure not to down-play or self-deprecate yourself.  Downplaying a compliment such as “great job on this” would be something like, “It was nothing.”  A response like this communicates that you don’t value your own contributions.  A self-deprecating remark would be something like, “Anyone could have done it.”  This again takes the value away from your contributions and will damage your own self-confidence.  Instead just say something like, “Thank you, I appreciate your saying that.”  This is a more productive way to accept a compliment and it shows appreciation to the person you’re talking with.  Talk about a completely different interaction experience!

Practicing these three techniques will help you promote your accomplishments in a graceful way.  It’s so easy that you can begin today. And don’t be surprised at how fast you start getting noticed.

If you’d like to meet with communications experts and learn more about self-promotion and getting noticed, sign up for our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop.

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Show Some Courage – Go Ahead and Assert Yourself

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By Kimberly Gerber

Assertiveness is the ability to have your voice heard in a clear and confident manner. Assertiveness gets people to notice and actively listen to you. While Assertiveness is often bold, it should not be confused with being aggressive.

Aggressive behavior is often angry and destructive. People who are aggressive generally intend to subordinate others in order to get what they want with the least amount of interference or challenge. That is not assertiveness. Ultimately, it is not effective and it damages relationships.

An assertive person projects confidence and self-control. They are perceived as poised, articulate and fair, and they are able to hold solid boundaries as well as lead the thinking of others. A great leader is an assertive leader. It’s having the courage to communicate our thoughts, ideas and contributions.

Learning to be assertive is a skill that you can master.

And, it is important that you do because, without the ability to effectively assert your voice, your success will be limited. The more often you’re able to assert yourself by demonstrating your ability to think strategically, solve problems, generate ideas and create solutions, the higher value you’ll have with those around you.

Here are three ways to assert yourself for greater success:

Self-promote – Send updates to your team and leadership on what you’re doing. Congratulate the team on your mutual successes. Don’t let the work speak for itself and don’t assume your boss knows all that you’re doing. The only way to ensure your work gets the credit it deserves is to let others know about it.

Seize opportunities – Reveal flattering information about yourself in your conversations. Be prepared to share some positive information about yourself the next time you run into leadership or others that you need to impress. But don’t go on and on, which would bore your audience. Instead, give a few facts and move on. I’ve always liked the motto: “Be brief, be bright, be gone.”

Accept compliments elegantly – When you say “thank you” for a compliment, the giver feels appreciated and so do you. Plus, it allows you to own the compliment.

Practicing the above three tips will allow you to have your voice heard as you promote your strengths, abilities, and successes in a professional and effective way. These assertiveness techniques will increase your recognition and your perceived worth to those around you. You’ve already done the hard part by doing the work, so promote it as a way to celebrate your success. The rewards will be worth the effort.

Look for more advice regarding the above three tips in future posts. If you’d like to meet with communications experts and learn more about communications and building your self-confidence, sign up for our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop.

Self-Confidence and Assertiveness are Two Leadership Qualities that You Can Master

Self-Confidence and assertiveness are skills that can be developed into habits.   It’s the habit of “what you say” and “how you say it.”

Think of a time when you found it really hard to assert yourself.  Was it the situation, the people involved, or something at stake?  Usually when we have a hard time asserting ourselves it’s because of fear:

  • The fear of seeming incompetent, “I don’t want to be seen as wrong.”
  • The fear of a negative response, “What if they disagree with me.”
  • The fear of public speaking, “I’d rather die than talk now.”

So what can you do about it?  Well…a lot actually.  The elements of communication include speech and body language.  It’s our speech and body language that generate emotions in others and vice versa.  What we say and how we say it generates impact (or lack thereof).

To create a positive impact (powerful presence), we need to pay attention to the following: our breathing, body language, facial expressions and voice command.  With this in mind, below are some simple tips to help you communicate with confidence:

Facial Expressions:

  • Maintain a relaxed and friendly gaze.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Keep a relaxed jaw – no clinching.
  • Smile if appropriate – no frowning.

Body Language:

  • Stand facing the person you are talking with.
  • Keep hands visible – arms uncrossed.
  • Maintain Your posture – Stand up straight – no slouching.

Speech:

  • Project from your diaphragm.
  • Enunciate your words.
  • Speak with an easy tempo – not too slow or too fast.  It’s a good idea to practice speaking with a recorder to hear how you sound.

Concise Language:

  • Limit number of points to 1, 2 or 3.
  • Limit the amount of time you talk before inviting involvement.
  • Prepare points in advance, and have in writing.
  • Make points first; provide details second.
  • Give examples and provide details as requested.
  • Choose language that is absent of qualifiers.
  • Catch yourself rambling and retract.
  • Question for clarity and alignment.  Breathe while speaking.
  • Moderate your tone and tempo.

Practice these tips above to become more confident in your communications.   And remember, the more you practice, the more likely these behaviors will become a habit.   As we said in the beginning, it’s the habit of “what you say” and “how you say it.”

If you’d like to meet with communications experts and learn more about communications and building your self-confidence, sign up for our next 3-Day Intensive Workshop.