If you don't toot your own horn, you'll hear no music. In this video, Roberta Matuson helps you orchestrate your next career move with her advice on how to toot your own horn so you can be heard in a sea of cubicles.
- I was recently working on executive presence with a team of women from a leading global organization. When we got to the part about tooting their own horns, you could've heard a pin drop. Like so many people, these women found the whole idea of bragging to be uncomfortable and uncalled for, so they refused to do it. Yet, these same people sit back and watch as their less experienced counterparts soar right pass them.
I want to make sure this doesn't happen to you, so let me tell you how to make some noise so you will be heard in the sea of cubicles. Here's an exercise I use to help my clients get noticed. Write down an accomplishment that most people don't know about you. Perhaps you came to this country and didn't speak a word of english. No one but your family knows about this, and today your english is flawless. Or you're like one one of my clients and you happen to be an Olympic medalist.
Both accomplishments take significant effort to achieve. Now, the next time you see an appropriate opening, I want you to weave your story into the conversation. For example, here is the story I tell. When I was 29 years old, I quit my job and traveled around the world solo. It was an incredible experience. Along the way, I met people from many countries which has helped me to better understand employees in global organizations.
I just shared an experience that is somewhat unique and makes me a person of interest. This is strategic bragging. I tell this story in a way that isn't flashy, and I only share it when the timing is appropriate. What's your story and how can you tie this back to the work that you are doing? And whenever you're telling your story, keep in mind the old saying, "It's not what you say, but how you say it." Have you ever noticed how some people look down while they're talking about themselves, or their voice suddenly becomes hard to hear? Don't be one of those people.
Conviction and confidence are vital when promoting yourself. After all, if you don't believe what you are saying, what makes you think others will? This rings particularly true when you are strategically bragging. There are a number of ways you can pump up the volume to be noticed. You can volunteer to take on the projects that are most visibile, then share your progress when working on important projects.
Tout your accomplishments so people in the company take notice of who you are and what you're capable of doing. And showcase your people. When they look good, you look great. For many of you, tooting your own horn won't come easy, but with practice you'll be able to orchestrate your career to move in any direction you choose. So, remember, if you don't toot your horn, there is no music.
Share stories that make you a person of interest, remind others of the great work you are doing, and pump up the volume so you get the recognition and the promotion you deserve.
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- Tooting your own horn strategically