Tooting your horn might be the right thing to do

For many of us, promoting ourselves can feel unnatural. Awkward. Sleazy, even.

Maybe you’re one of the top 25 tennis players in Germany and you’d like to get into tennis coaching. But when you talk with a potential client, you don’t mention that you’re in the top 25. It feels like bragging.

Or, you deliver better work than your coworkers who have the same title and pay as you. But you don’t feel comfortable saying that to your boss straight up. It feels pompous.

If you face these sorts of problems, try reframing the situation like this:

How will the other person benefit from me tooting my horn a bit?

The potential client wants to get better at tennis. If you explain that you’re a top tennis player, they’re more likely to hire you—and improve their tennis. It’s a win-win.

When you tell your boss that you’re better than your coworkers (and you back that claim up), you’re more likely to get promoted. And from your new job, you can make a bigger impact for the company’s customers or clients.

So when you feel uncomfortable tooting your horn, ask whether doing so would actually mean doing someone else a favor.


— Peter

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