We like to brag about other people. It’s easy, isn’t it? I’ll tell you all about my friends’ accomplishments or all that my husband has achieved or when my students rise to the top in their industry. Heck, I’ll even tell you when my dog has learned a new trick!
But if you were raised like I was, especially in the south where humbleness is next to godliness, you struggle with praising yourself. It feels prideful, right? Like talking about your strengths, gifts or achievements is somehow a bad thing?!
But here’s the truth of it: It’s still possible to appear humble and respectful, even while you’re telling someone how great you are. There’s a difference between bragging and letting someone know what you have to offer. Every dictionary defines bragging as ‘excessive” or ‘endless’ or ‘too much.’ Notice the words ‘beneficial’, ‘mutual’ and ‘complementary’ aren’t in the definition of bragging?? That’s because bragging is a one-way street to “I am awesomeville.”
There’s a right way to humble brag and it’s all about the win-win when you make sure the other person knows what you have to offer them. Here’s what humbly seeking a ‘deal’ looks like: You’ve just introduced yourself to someone – and that someone has something you want, and you just know you can help them too. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, this is your opportunity to use your new pitch and highlight why you are the best person to be talking to at that moment. Remember, you’re worth this opportunity!
It’s all about the way you say something and your attitude!
Try adding one of these three humble brags, yet self-promotional conversation starters to your pitch next time you’re in the same room with someone you want to partner with.
- “That’s really interesting; have you tried to use XYZ? I once implemented it when I did ABC. I can absolutely help you with that project by…”
- “When I was doing ABC, I successfully lead XYZ. I would love to come alongside you to accomplish your project.”
- “I could really use your help with ABC! I love to XYZ and would appreciate working with someone who is great at 123.”
Share your wins and share your interesting stories with an example to how those assets might benefit the other person. You’ll be approachable, humble and VALUABLE.
Remember: This is YOUR time! You worked hard to be who you are, where you are – now use it to your advantage and go sell yourself!