Introvert Barriers: Self-Promotion the Non-Icky Way
As an Introverted Leader, self-promotion can be a hard skill for many to master; for the introvert with ambition, it can be a serious problem.
Have you given any thought to this issue?
The issue is that if your intention is to be in management or even simply promoted, if you can’t self-promote you can almost guarantee yourself a lackluster career. Is self-promotion a problem for you?
Are you at risk for this barrier to career success? If you are aware that this is a problem for you, here are some things you should know and things you can do to develop your skill:
Learn the Difference Between Bragging and Self-Promotion
Some people think that bragging is self-promotion, therefore they loathe it and don’t want to consider doing it. There is a huge difference, which primarily is that bragging is ego based and mindless, pointless commentary meant to try to impress. Self-promotion is useful, focused information shared with people who need to know the information about you, which can help you advance. There’s a big difference, and once you know it, it will help your introverted soul feel much better about what you are embarking on. (DTM thought: Self promotion doesn’t have to obnoxious to be effective AND yes, I had to learn this too!)
Only You Can Advance Your Cause
Please, stop thinking that great work will speak for itself! It won’t — you have to. (Tweet this!) It’s important to perform well, and once you do, you must assume that the decision-makers don’t yet know. Your job is to inform them. You can do informal office drop in’s all the way to presentations on your projects. I usually suggest to my clients that If you don’t know what you would say, follow this outline:
- Top three accomplishments in the past month/quarter
- Top three challenges you overcame and how you did it
- Top one or two things on your immediate horizon
Introverts tend to overwhelm easily, and if you start out thinking you are going to do it all tomorrow, you risk a full system overload. Pick one thing, like writing a status report to your boss and anyone else with whom you should communicate. Get in the swing of that before adding anything else.
Look for Opportunities
Introverts tend to be highly focused on what we’re working on. You may also think you have nothing noteworthy to say that will also be self-promotion. Understand that the weak underbelly of all organizations is communication. You simply can’t communicate enough, which means that what you are working on or have accomplished may actually be needed by and interesting to others. Don’t go into massive detail, but look for opportunities to let people know what you’ve been up to.
Make This a Project
We love tasks. We love projects. Make your self-promotion into a project with specific actions you will take and when you will take them. Look for things you do that you think work well and that you feel good doing. Put more of those on your project plan. Stay focused on this until it becomes second nature to you.
Get a New Attitude
We self-promote all the time. If we didn’t we would never get a job, find a significant other or ever get promoted. Think of self-promotion as sharing information that others will find valuable about – YOU. (I might also point out that some people get a little self-righteous about the need to self-promote but trust me, you have to do it.)
Self-promotion is vital to your career success. It would have been great if it were a skill you learned in school, but it wasn’t. It is a skill that you need to learn now, and retain for the rest of your life.
What’s your biggest obstacle when it comes to self-promotion? Share in the comments!