Showcase Your Abilities without Bragging
Episode #5 of the course How to improve your self-confidence by Patricia Haddock
Welcome to today’s lesson.
Yesterday, you learned how to use preparedness as a way of raising your self-confidence when you are faced with a challenging situation. Today, we’re looking at how you can tell people what you’re good at without turning them off.
No one likes a braggart. You know the type. They’re always the best at everything—they have the best answer, they deliver the best results, and on and on.
Most of us would rather not be around people like this. But we can give them credit for one thing: They realize that if they don’t tell people how good they are, they won’t be appreciated.
Sometimes, we think people will notice our good work, but that doesn’t always happen. We see people with fewer skills being promoted or landing lots of business and wonder, “Why them? Why not me?”
Maybe it’s because they do a better job of communicating their abilities.
You see, that’s the key. You need to become good at showcasing your abilities without bragging.
When people know your abilities, expertise, and knowledge, they can give you credit for it. You can be considered for promotions, land new clients, and be taken seriously.
It may seem hard at first, so here are strategies to showcase what you can do in a way that makes you look good while you’re doing it.
• Speak in terms of how you help others be successful, and use examples of your work to describe it. For example, “I’m so proud of my newest client. I’ve been working with her for a few sessions to boost her self-confidence, and she made a breakthrough this week. Our hard work together really paid off for her …”
• Start by giving others credit and include your contributions. For example, “I’m on the most amazing team at work. Last month, we launched our new marketing strategy, and we’re already seeing positive results. My video went viral, thanks to Jason’s social media campaign.”
• Offer to share your expertise. For example, when I worked for a bank, I wanted to land a job in the communications department. I needed to show that I was a good writer without bragging. I volunteered to do a series of brown-bag lunches for my department to help them write more clearly. I also offered to answer questions and help with difficult writing assignments. When an opening came up in communications, I was invited to interview and I landed the position.
• Use volunteer work to share your skills and accomplishments. For example, “I was on a development team for a local non-profit. We were all volunteers and worked weeks to pull together a grant proposal that landed a million-dollar grant. It was one of the high points of my writing career. I’m so proud of what we achieved and the good it will do the community.”
Give people enough information without overwhelming them or sounding like “the world’s greatest.” Some people may ask for more details, so make sure you have a story about it. In our last example, if you are asked how you landed such a large grant, describe what you and the team did.
Accept compliments graciously and avoid saying, “It was nothing,” or, “Anyone could have done it.” Instead, smile and thank the person. Add something like, “I appreciate that. I worked hard on this.” Never criticize someone else to make you look good; this will quickly backfire. Anything else you say will be dismissed.
If it is hard for you to talk about yourself, practice. Start by using examples of achievements that you are proud of. Write out a few statements, and ask someone you trust to listen to you and give feedback.
When you feel comfortable, branch out and tell friends and associates when the moment seems right. The more you gain skill in talking about what you’re good at, the more confident you will feel and the more you will be recognized for your abilities.
Tomorrow, you will learn how to defend yourself and your ideas without becoming defensive.
See you tomorrow.
Brag: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus
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