Updated: Nov 1
Whether you like it or not, one of the best ways for people to advance in the workplace is through self-promotion. Additionally, it can be a crucial means of ensuring that the successes of women and members of marginalised groups are acknowledged, known, and eventually celebrated.
But for those who don't naturally promote themselves, this conduct can seem unsettling, frightening, or downright strange.
According to Julia Silva, diversity programmes specialist at Google and Bay Area lead for #IamRemarkable, a Google-led empowerment effort, one of the reasons why many women feel so uncomfortable about self-promotion is that talking about our accomplishments is stereotyped. She claims that it is a stereotype that women shouldn't extol their own attributes. "Humbleness is our responsibility, and effort will be rewarded,"
In fact, according to certain studies, "women frequently defend cultural norms for women to be modest more vigorously than males," says Silva. This mentality can be quite harmful.
Race and gender stereotypes can affect how competent and capable we perceive a person to be, according to Silva. According to her, those who experience these prejudices are less likely to be given credit for their ideas, are more likely to be interrupted during meetings, and have less influence over their teams. She emphasises the necessity of exercising our self-promotional muscles and honing these abilities because failing to do so could cause us to lag behind our peers who actively promote themselves.
Silva and Kanika Raney, the global head of equity programmes at Google, are striving to dispel misconceptions about self-promotion and provide people with the resources they need to feel more at ease talking freely about their accomplishments as facilitators and ambassadors of #IamRemarkable. Silva says, "At the end of the day, your successes won't speak for themselves. So we're trying to focus on why it's crucial that we self promote."
Learning to market oneself requires practise, just like any other talent. To establish it as a regular habit, follow these 5 steps that Silva and Raney shared.
1. Change the way you perceive self-promotion
Because doing so can come across as boasting, many of us are reluctant to promote ourselves. When delivering #IAmRemarkable workshops, Silva and Raney face the difficulty of self-promotion by defining what it truly is: telling the truth about your accomplishments. However, as Raney puts it, "it's not bragging if it's founded on facts." Silva explains, "When we phrase it that way, it makes it easier for us.
2. Recognize your own prejudices
Silva remembers the time a woman joined her then-all-male sales team a few years back. Silva says, "I definitely recall thinking to myself, 'Oh god, why is she bragging?' [The new hire] was boasting about her former work and how she overachieved on quota and all of these fantastic deals that she closed. ’”
When you criticise someone for marketing themselves, pay attention. Raney advises, "Just being aware of it can help you check yourself." Why am I being judgemental, consider. Would I judge a man in this manner? ’”
According to a study, women who self-promote are judged to be less competent, more unattractive in society, and less employable than their self-promoting male contemporaries. The majority of women have been socialised since we were young to react negatively when women talk about their successes — but recognising a judgemental thought can be a first step in changing your attitude. "When I first started doing this training, that was probably the most shocking thing to me," she says.
3. Practise expressing your accomplishments aloud.
Raney thinks that through practising with our coworkers, friends, or family, we might develop the habit of self-promotion. Practice stating your victories out loud, Silva advises, "that's when it's going to start to sink in and feel more natural to you," so you can always have two to three accomplishments in your back pocket.
It may be challenging for you to think of things you're proud of at first if self-promotion is new to you; don't worry, this is normal. Start the process by asking yourself questions such, "What have I done that's remarkable? What recent project or projects have I completed? "; "What do I excel at very well? "; or "When was the last time I was pleased with something I had done, and what was it? ”
4. Record your accomplishments.
Remembering all you've done can be challenging. It's simple to go to leadership and say, "Here's everything I've done over the previous quarter," Silva adds, "if you have your accomplishments logged." This list will be useful for performance evaluations, asking for a raise, and job interviews. Maintaining a running list of accomplishments and things you're proud of is more important than the format.
5. Learn to accept compliments rather than reject them.
You'll feel more at ease complimenting yourself after you become more accustomed to receiving compliments from others. When people compliment me, Raney admits, "I sometimes downplay it and say it wasn't a big deal or that anyone could have done it."
Raney advises developing a "one-liner that you're comfortable saying in response," such as "Yes, it was quite a challenge" or "I'm delighted to have accomplished that," or simply "Thank you," if you tend to reject compliments.
While self-promotion is crucial, it can be difficult if you don't work somewhere that allows you to feel comfortable doing it.
By promoting the successes of others, you can also change the culture of your workplace. In your next meeting, if you're a manager, ask your direct reports how they would like their work to be acknowledged. ”
An organization-wide impact can be had by creating a culture of self-promotion. Being more self-assured and capable of promoting oneself will inspire others to follow suit, according to Silva. Because we are making room to declare that it's acceptable for us to feel proud of ourselves.
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