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  • Writer's pictureNicole Provonchee

I Bet You Need to Brag More

About three weeks ago, the professional and self-development world seemed to wake up. Over a three day period, I had four inquires about my speaking programs for women-focused groups. The most popular topic: Self-Promotion Skills for Women.

For many women, self-promotion is really tough. Women often walk a fine line between ensuring others know about their skills, while not seeming brash, braggadocios or tacky. (Important note: Men can struggle with self-promotion too, but research continues to show that self-promotion from men is more expected and more accepted culturally than when it comes from a woman. That said, men in leadership positions can play a critical role by supporting women who step out and step up - and make safe places for celebration and promotion - see below).

Many women choose the most socially accepted path: work hard, do good work, and wait to be noticed.

Sometimes that works. Unfortunately, all too often - it does not. If you are not marketing your skills and accomplishments, while others are, you can be at a real disadvantage when it comes time for raises, promotions or allocations of new initiatives. Cue the metaphor of the squeaky wheel ...

Authentic, well placed self-promotion is not about creating endless "look at me!" LinkedIn posts. It is about ensuring the right people know about the great work you have accomplished in a way that matches your cultural norms.

One easy way you can kick start self-promotion is to introduce a monthly "moment of celebration" with your own team. Each person on your team takes 30 seconds to state one thing they are proud of accomplishing over the past month. Repeat monthly and watch the self-promotion muscles grow (not to mention the positive feelings everyone has when your celebrate your wins and the wins of another)!

Another idea - look for people in your organization who seem to be able to promote themselves with authenticity and grace. Note what they are doing - and not doing. You do not have to recreate the wheel, but you may want to benchmark what the wheel is doing right!

AND if you are a woman or a man that is comfortable with self-promotion, offer to mentor a strong or moderate performer who could use support in this area!

Need more ideas - Check out Meredith Fineman's new book, Brag Better. Meredith talks about how you can move from bring one of the "Quiet Qualified" to a well known talent in your reorganization that gets noticed!


Nicole Provonchee is an executive coach and strategist that works with women leaders and teams across the nation.

After 20 years climbing the corporate ladder, she started Bright Blue Consulting, where she can combine her skills as a coach with her practical experiences as a leader and executive.

Nicole is a sought-after speaker and can bring her "get out of your own way", self-advocacy, negotiation skills workshops to your organization or company. Learn more on her speaking page. Or, reach out to her today.


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