Use this simple trick to brag without feeling sick

No-one likes a bragger, (you know, someone who incessantly toots their own horn), so when we’re given advice that we need to be more visible, share our accomplishments more and generally put ourselves forward a little more assertively to get ahead in our career, it’s hard not to feel a little sick at the thought.

How do we let people know of the wonderful things we’re doing without bragging? Is telling them about our accomplishments or latest wins not the very definition of bragging? And if so, is there a way to increase our visibility without losing respect for ourselves in the process?

There is a way

Adam Galinksy is a highly acclaimed social psychologist from Columbia Business School. In his recent TED talk, “How to speak up for yourself”, Adam shares a brilliant strategy for getting noticed by the right people, in the right way.  He suggests that you share your accomplishment and then ask for advice. 

Here’s what that might sound like in action: 

“Hi (Board member, Senior Executive, Managing Director etc), I’ve been invited to deliver a keynote at the (International industry super-fancy-pants summit) next year and I’d like to ask for your advice. I know you’ve done many of these in the past. From your experience what’s the one thing these audiences really want to hear about the most?”

Asking for advice about your accomplishments does three things:

1/ It puts you front and centre on the person’s radar
2/ It highlights your achievements without highlighting your achievements
3/ It enrolls the senior person in your success

Not only do they now know what you are up to, they are invested in your success because they were invited to play a part in it. They have unconsciously become an advocate for your success. You also have an excuse to check in with them when it’s over to let them know how their advice helped (and incidentally how you knocked it out of the park and are the exact kind of person they need for that VP role in the Bahamas!)

So next time someone gives you advice to step up, lean in, or get in front of the right people, think about what you want to learn and get your questions ready!

And don't think that this technique is limited to one person at a time.... Why not ask several people different questions and magnify your exposure from the one accomplishment? All the while maintaining your humility, your integrity and keeping the nausea at bay.  

Good luck and let me know how you go! :)