Artful Self-promotion

Aug 29th, 2011 | By | Category: Career advice, competing, self-promotion, strategy, tactics

Most of were taught that self-promotion is rude and distasteful behavior. This is sort of funny because the whole time parents are trying to teach their children not to boost of their own accomplishments, the parents spare no opportunity to brag about their children. No matter how small the feat a child performs, it is a monumental occurrence to their parents, who do not hesitate to tell everyone who will listen.

So if it is ok for parents to brag about their children, why is there so much emphasis to teach children not to tell of their own achievements? Not only does it rob children of their identity as a winner, but it also seems to devalue their accomplishments.

Once we reach school, our teachers reinforce the notion that it is not proper behavior to tell of our accomplishments. The teachers go through great lengths to use competition to improve the students learning and study habits. The teachers would give out stars; have contests with prizes, and post grades all in an attempt to improve the learning environment. It was also the training ground for surviving in the workplace. At least in my school the same kids cleaned up on the stars, prizes and awards all the way though to sixth grade. They seem to be allowed to brag about their accomplishments, but the rest of us not so much. We were being trained at early are to acquiesce and be good sports in congratulating the others.

When one of the rank and file did something noteworthy, they got a “that’s nice” at best. Soon we not only quit telling of out accomplishments, but became defensive, as every time we tried to tell of our accomplishments we received criticism in return. Soon we just relied on others to recognize our accomplishments, which happens less and less as we enter the workforce where the competition is for raises and promotions instead of gold stars and small prizes.

Start small and build up your credits and credentials. If you start too strong you will run headlong opposition from your competitors. By starting small you will build your creditability making it more difficult for your competitors to attack or challenge your accomplishments. By watching and learning their tactics you can develop methods of your own to counteract the opposition and believe me it will come.

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