Self-promote Without Being a Jerk

Highlight your achievements at work with grace and respect for your peers and co-workers.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #29

You can also ask people for help, giving them a chance to show off their expertise. Ask for help that involves them seeing how far along you are, while making them the expert. "Hey Drew, my report is 90% done, and just needs your special way with words to get the last 10%. Could you help me polish the conclusion?" You're letting Drew be the expert while quietly sharing the great job you did on your report. And hey, Drew's suggestions just might be excellent.

This works with your spouse, too. You know how he, she, or they always offer helpful tips on things you really don't want advice on? Instead of resisting, ask for the advice. "Hey, honey, could you show me again that great way you dry plates?" Your honey gets to give the advice, you might learn something, and your honey now knows that you're doing the dishes. All with a simple question.

Lastly, offer to help. Choose something useful from a recent accomplishment. "You know, Alex, we just finished the project with ABC PR company, and the best way to deal with them is to get deliverables up front in writing." Alex now knows you just finished your project, you learned something from the project, and you're making Alex's life better by sharing the lesson. Once again, everyone wins, and everyone knows your accomplishment.

Speaking of "everyone," notice you say, "we just finished the project," not "I." Nothing pisses people off like taking credit for their work. And nothing makes them happier than getting credit. (Except in my case, where Oreo ice cream cakes make me happier than getting credit.) When you're on a team, always say "we" when talking about accomplishments, even if you did all the work. Trust me: if every team you're on delivers results, people will notice.

While you're asking questions, offering help, asking for help, and using "we," be sincere. If you ask for help, want it. If you offer help, mean it. If you're trying to be manipulative while thinking you're so much better than they are, they'll see right through you. If you truly want to help, and do so in a way that also mentions projects you've finished and lessons you've learned, they'll see how you exceed expectations and help them exceed their own expectations. You'll be the kind of person people want to succeed, and you'll find they often help you in return.

This is Stever Robbins. Follow me on twitter as GetItDoneGuy (all one word), or visit my blog at blog.steverrobbins.com/getitdoneguy. If you have a question about how to Work Less and Do More, e-mail getitdone@quickanddirtytips.com or leave voicemail at 866-WRK-LESS.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

- https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/productivity/organization/how-to-manage-your-boss, the Managing Up episode

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.