How can you articulate your strengths and accomplishment, without sounding arrogant? 

One of the most common questions that I get from my individual coaching clients and in the workshops that I lead goes something like this:

“Andrea. I understand how important it is when I’m developing my personal brand to focus on my strengths and my accomplishments. But how do I actually articulate my strengths in public without sounding arrogant – and conceited – and boastful?”

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Your work doesn’t speak for itself. You must speak for your work.”

Back when we were much younger, when we were students or in the first few years of our careers, people were looking out for us. They were looking to cite examples of our great work and highlight it. In school they even graded us for it.

But as a middle level or senior level managers, you must speak for your own work. This is important because you need to establish credibility. You need your hard work and successes to be attributed to you.  

But at the same time you don’t want to be seen as arrogant or selfish.

I understand. This is a quandary, isn’t it?

So let’s dig in. Let’s Talk About three ways to articulate your strengths and accomplishments:

3 things to Talk About this week:

1️⃣ Stop saying “humbled”
2️⃣ Three magic words
3️⃣ Own it!


1️⃣ Stop saying “humbled”

 

 

May I humbly suggest…that you stop saying “I am humbled to receive this award/announce a new job etc.…” 

Please.  Just stop. 

I know you’re trying to show that you are modest and have humility. But do you know what being humbled means?

Being humbled means “lowered in condition, power, or dignity”  In other words, brought down a notch. It refers to a situation that causes you to realize your limitations and vulnerabilities.

So, it doesn’t even make sense to say it!

You could argue the definition has evolved over time so that being humbled now means your recognition of an undeserved honor. 

But I’m not the only one out there that perceives this phrase as insincere.  

My advice? Just avoid the word.  How about expressing your enthusiasm, your honor or your gratitude? 

I’m EXCITED to share that I was recently promoted
or
I’m HONOURED to be recognized with this award.
or
I’m GRATEFUL/THANKFUL/APPRECIATIVE for this acknowledgment.

You get the idea.

 


2️⃣ Three Magic Words

 

Another strategy for articulating your strengths comes from using three magic words:  “People tell me”

 “People tell me that I have a lot of energy and I’m able to engage people with my podcasts and in my workshops.”
or:
People tell me that I have a rare ability to identify consumer insights.”
or:
People tell me that I am an exceptional people leader and mentor.”

This strategy gets a lot of positive feedback from the folks I coach.  It’s immediately actionable. 

Ask yourself right now, what’s something positive that people say about you that you might share with the world? This COULD be a key element to your personal brand.

The reason “people tell me” is so effective, is because it sounds less arrogant when it’s coming from a third party; you’re sharing what other people say about you. 

It also sounds more credible. It’s almost like a third party testimonial.

 


3️⃣ Own it!

How else can you articulate your strengths and accomplishments without sounding arrogant?

Just own it!

Put a big smile on your face and say something like, “Actually, I am really proud of that.”


There you go – 3 Ways To Articulate Your Strengths:

1️⃣ Stop saying “humbled”
2️⃣ Three Magic Words
3️⃣ Own it! 

I encourage you to learn more by listening to this week’s Talk About Talk podcast – Episode 144  “Articulating Your Strengths and Accomplishments Without Sounding Arrogant” on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. In fact, if you cannot find Talk About Talk, please let me know.

And, if you want to talk, feel free to email me or message me on LinkedIn

Have a great week
Talk soon,

 

Learn about 1-on-1 COACHING with Andrea,
or
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