I talk a lot about being confident and not being afraid to show your peers, co-workers and employers what an intelligent person you are. But the fact is, at some point, if you talk yourself up too much, you run the risk of people thinking of you as more of a braggart then a great self-promoter. Unfortunately, we have to straddle a fine line between bragging and pointing out our achievements in order to be successful. Here are a couple of things you can do in order to avoid becoming the unwanted office braggart:
#1) Use numbers, not superlatives. Numbers, as we all know, never lie. Instead of saying “I was the best salesperson in the fourth quarter,” try saying, “I grossed the company XX amount in the fourth quarter.” Anyone in the know will understand that your figures are impressive and they’ll recognize that you see your performance in terms of being good for the company, rather than yourself.
#2) Don’t play the one up game. No one really appreciates being “one upped” in conversation and we all know one person who constantly has to beat your accomplishment. You may have bested someone in goals, but trying to top them when they bring up their figures only makes you look absurdly competitive. Instead of bringing up your achievements in someone else’s conversation, save them for a more appropriate time.
#3) Avoid too much “I” talk. Of course, you have to speak in the first person when talking about your achievements, but too much “I” and “me” make you seem like you may not be a team player (even though you may very well be one). Try to talk about “my team” or “my coworkers and I” from time to time. And, this may go without saying, but always give credit where credit is due. Never claim someone else’s accomplishments as your own.
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