When I talk about the importance of self-promotion for women, I get a lot of head nods. Intellectually, everyone seems to get it. We have all read the research that validates the necessity of promoting oneself in order to establish the credibility and visibility required in the workplace today for advancement. We get it but we don’t do it. At least we don’t do it very effectively.
It’s hard to talk about oneself without feeling like we’re bragging. We have been so conditioned to take the back seat and wait to be recognized. So we often have this inner argument about how to proceed with authentic self-promotion. We know we should do more of it. We know we should be better at it. But at the same time, it’s much more comfortable to stay focused on doing our work.
I’ve often discussed in this blog that once you understand your value proposition and how you contribute to the organization, self-promotion takes on a different purpose. You are letting others know of your accomplishments and your value proposition and offering to help in ways that benefit the organization. Self-promotion is a leadership skill. It is your responsibility to talk about what you and your team have achieved, not only for your own benefit, but for the team and the company. It’s how you create influence. It’s how you sell your ideas across the organization.
Taking the time to actively and strategically spread the word about the work you and your team have accomplished is critical for your career success. It is necessary in order to establish your leadership potential across the organization. The only way this is going to happen is if you put time aside each week to meet with key people in your department and in different business units. Let them know what you’re working on. Ask them what challenges they have and offer to help. What possible solutions might you have that have worked in similar situations? This helps you and your team and helps the organization move its initiatives forward.
Shift your mindset that self-promotion is all about YOU. Yes, you benefit. But so does your team and your company. In its absence, the organization cannot build on your success. They can’t use your ideas to further their initiatives. They simply don’t know what they don’t know. How did you and your team make that project successful? What types of solutions did you develop? What was your thought process?
Self-promotion is a leadership skill and when you promote yourself and your team across the organization, everyone wins including the organization.