How Well Do You Toot Your Own Horn?


In April, we’re celebrating how your uniqueness is the key to your success. And while we’re at it, we want to encourage you to “toot your own horn” more about those successes.  

We’ve talked before about how self-promotion isn’t selfish if you’re providing your boss and others valuable info about your work and why you can’t assume that your accomplishments will speak from themselves.

This week, look a little more closely at how you’re doing with self-promotion. Which of these profiles best describes you?

Active self-promoter. You regularly put yourself out there to share valuable information about your results and how you are getting them. You know the right people to connect with and you focus on staying visible to them. The challenge for you may be to do this without coming across as self-centered.

Selective self-promoter. You get that self-promotion is important, but you have difficulty doing it on a consistent basis. Like many others, your activities here may be more externally driven (i.e., by the timing of promotion and pay decisions, restructuring at your company, or other events that drive the need to communicate more about your performance).

Heads-down worker. Your mindset is “I just need to get my work done.” You value results and quality, and you believe that if you do a good job people will notice (see our previous blog on why that’s not necessarily so). You may quickly dismiss self-promotion as a “game” that you don’t want to play.

Praise deflector. Do you have a shield that redirects any compliments you receive (“Ellen was the one who really made the project work!”) or minimizes your accomplishment (“Meeting that deadline wasn’t really a big deal.”)? If so, be mindful of the messages you are indirectly sending to others about your performance.

Most people tend to fall in the middle two categories. Active self-promoters and praise deflectors are more rare. You may also find that you fall into a couple of categories. If so, pay attention to how you are showing up and with whom.

This week, take a few minutes to simply notice how often you take opportunities to share your accomplishment and results with others. Where would you like to be on the self-promotion scale above?

This article is adapted from our video “Assess How Well You Toot Your Own Horn Today.” You can find it and other videos from our “Tastefully Tooting Your Own Horn” series on the Learn page of our website.