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  • Kim Meninger

Why Making Authentic Self-Promotion Part of Company Culture Benefits Everyone

Self-promotion gets a bad rap in the workplace.

Why Making Authentic Self-Promotion Part of Company Culture Benefits Everyone

On the surface, it seems like ego-driven bragging. And, let's face it, it can feel uncomfortable, even internally, to dwell too much on our successes. This discomfort is especially pronounced for women because we have been immersed in societal messaging since childhood telling us that modesty is a virtue. Recent research suggests that women are notably less inclined to self-promote than their male counterparts.

But self-promotion doesn't have to be the antithesis of humility. In fact, when approached thoughtfully, self-promotion is the key to powerful individual and collective benefits.

If you are your company's "best-kept secret," you deprive your organization of your unique superpowers and value. It’s time to rethink self-promotion as a service to yourself and others.

By contributing to a shift in company culture that supports authentic self-promotion, you can:

Work more effectively as a team.

Self-promotion is letting people know what you do well so your skills can benefit the whole. Think of your go-to person at work and how valuable that person’s advice and support are for you. Shining a light on your superpowers makes it possible for others to leverage you in the same way.

Feel valued and appreciated.

When your colleagues and leadership recognize your efforts and wins, you feel more valued and connected to the organization. This positive energy helps fuel your performance and improve your overall experience in the workplace.

Advance your career.

By building your personal brand around the areas where you excel, you make a case for advancement. It helps people understand how you serve the organization. The clearer that value is, the more enthusiastic leadership will be to leverage those skill sets in roles of greater responsibility.

Overcoming the reflexive "ick factor" that accompanies the idea of self-promotion can be tricky. This challenge is extra tough in organizations where self-promotion isn't modeled. In this post, I share three strategies you can use to begin shifting the culture in your organization and reaping the individual and collective benefits.

1) Ask yourself, “What do people come to me for help with?”

Everyone has things they are great at that they genuinely enjoy. If you hide those things for fear of seeming boastful, the organization loses out.

Imagine you're an absolute Excel wizard. Pivot tables, formulas, shortcuts—you've got Excel tips for days, and everyone comes to you when they run into issues using the tool. You might consider reaching out to your team and offering to host an informal lunch and learn to share some valuable tricks.

In this example, you’re coming from a place of service, adding genuine value, and all the while becoming better known for something you’re proud of and great at. Beyond that, you’re making it more acceptable for others to do something similar. Everyone wins!

2) Ask yourself, “What am I working on that a colleague might benefit from?”

In addition to being service-driven, authentic self-promotion is purposeful by nature. Take a moment to think about what you are spending time on that may benefit the work of others in your organization.

Let’s say you are gathering data for a big project. You could reach out to a colleague whose work has a natural intersection with yours and suggest getting together to share what you've discovered. When you are open and share your work in this way, it breaks down silos and encourages more effective collaboration. As an additional bonus, it helps others better understand your value and your work.

3) Ask yourself, “What am I proud of?”

In most organizations, meetings are about problem-solving and planning. But there is real value in creating space in group settings to celebrate successes.

How you do this can be as simple as dedicating time to sharing the proudest moments of the week. Remember, it's not about bragging. It's about recognizing what you're excited about and what you enjoy about your work. The positive energy that comes from making celebration a part of the workflow boosts morale and allows us to approach our next challenge refreshed.

Creating a container for this sort of celebration makes it much safer for people to participate. Ideally, the practice will spill out into more organic instances of self-promotion in other situations.

Are you ready to be part of a culture shift that benefits you and everyone around you?

Authentic and strategic self-promotion isn't about singing your own praises. Instead, it's about recognizing and sharing your strengths and accomplishments. By embracing these strategies and encouraging a culture of authentic self-promotion, you can unlock the full potential of your unique abilities and contribute to a more fulfilling and successful work environment for everyone involved.

If you’re interested in spreading this message to others in your organization, reach out to inquire about my signature talk Using Authentic Self-Promotion Strategies to Advance Your Career.

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