How to stop feeling icky about promoting your strengths!
In a recent online workshop working with new leaders in transport and logistics across ANZ, we reflected on individual and collective strengths… and there were many.
Team members identified strengths that were recognised by many participants, including:
- Keeping promises
- Being knowledgeable
- Being hardworking and results-focused
- Being team players
- Having a can-do attitude
- Helping clients and staff to achieve goals
Yet, they also reported a reluctance to self-promote, while at the same time recognising the value of building an online profile and being able to talk confidently about strengths when needed. One team member said that if it wasn’t for his online profile, he would never have got the job at this organisation – a job he really values!
Identifying and being able to clearly articulate strengths does a lot, not only your personal brand, but your team’s identity and the broader company brand. It helps staff be confident in talking about their work when meeting important new contacts and developing relationships with current clients. It also helps grow personal confidence, pride, motivation and belonging – because when we are clear on the value we contribute, we feel really good about our work.
“…when we are clear on the value we contribute, we feel really good about our work.”
Yet, across the board, I have found that a great many professionals are reluctant to talk about themselves. They’ve seen poor examples on social media, and they don’t want to put themselves ‘out there’ or sound conceited or salesy in introductions and conversations. At the same time, they do have a desire to identify and articulate their strengths.
Moving to a positive approach to self-promotion involves:
- Identifying situations where you need to talk about your strengths, or to set yourself up as credible (e.g. external and internal networking, email introductions, running a meeting with a new client or prospect, phone enquiries, interviews and promotions).
- Having a clear plan and language for how you will approach such situations – what you will say and do to introduce yourself, to guide the conversation and invite people to see you in a certain way.
- Sharing the experience of reflecting on strengths, and practising talking about them with each other.
- Seeing positive role models talking about the value they bring through their work, and participating in mentoring, coaching or training opportunities to be confident professional communicators – both in-person and online.