If your client said he wanted to transition his business at some point, you would…
John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
It’s time for your performance review. The challenge of convincing others you should get the job has been replaced by the challenge of convincing them they’ve made the right choice. You know you need to put your best foot forward. You’ve thought about your work during the last few months and pulled out some successes you’d like to talk about, but you aren’t sure how to get them worked into the conversation.
You might want to pick up a copy of Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, by Peggy Klaus. A Fortune 500 communication and leadership coach, Klaus offers step-by-step guidance for tooting your own horn in a way that is sincere, feels comfortable, and isn’t a turn-off for those you’re trying to impress.
She begins by exploding the myths we typically associate with bragging: “a job well done speaks for itself”; “humility gets you noticed”; and “brag is a four-letter word”. Together with addressing these myths, she comments about the reluctance of many to brag about themselves because of how they’ve seen it overdone, or done badly, by others. Her message: You don’t want to brag like “one of them”, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it all.
The first step in her process is to complete a “Take 12” self-evaluation to develop an inventory of the things you are most proud of having accomplished in your personal and professional life. This raw material comprises what Klaus refers to as your “brag bag” which, after fine-tuning, will be the basis for your “brag bites” and “bragologues”. In subsequent chapters, Klaus discusses bragging in and out of the office, and what she refers to as “techno brag” through phone conversations and e-mail.
In one key chapter, Klaus writes about bragging your way in the door during a job interview. She distinguishes carefully between stretching the truth by fudging your qualifications or describing yourself as someone you aren’t, and filling your bragologue with descriptions of your authentic qualities that would be useful in that job. She advises doing your homework to learn everything you can about the firm you’re interviewing with and the challenges they face so you’re prepared to brag about the contributions you can make. She offers examples for using bragging to acknowledge a liability, while spinning it as having a positive side with benefits that far outweigh the negatives.
The chapter on performance reviews is one of the most helpful. Saying that it’s never too early to start planning for your next performance review, Klaus suggests keeping your “brag bag” up to date with a record of your accomplishments, almost as though you’ve engaged in a performance review all year long. She also has advice for how to use your “brag bites” to lay out your case even though the conversation may sidetrack you. Finally, she touches on ways to use a “bragologue” to address weak points so that you end up with a constructive review that enables you to grow.
Brag! is available in both hardback and paperback. For more information about Peggy Klaus, and Brag! go to: http://www.peggyklaus.com/books/brag