Have you ever wondered whether self-promotion has to be “shameless”?  Or when you should (and should NOT) apologize? Or why and how men and women often communicate differently?

If you haven’t listened to episode 95 yet, part 2 of my conversation with communication expert Judith Humphrey, we cover all this and more!


Judith Humphrey

Thanks again, Judith!

Here’s a summary of two of my favourite insights from this conversation:

  • Is SELF-PROMOTION a good thing?
  • When should we APOLOGIZE?



Let’s face it, self-promotion has a bad rap. With so many negative connotations associated with it (as in “shameless self-promotion”), it’s no wonder many of us are reluctant to self-promote.

But at one time or another, we all have to do a bit of self-promotion, whether you’re up for a promotion at your organization or interviewing for a job with a new employer.

Judith distinguishes between two approaches to self-promotion:

❌ The Ugly Way – This is basically bragging. Talking ourselves up. But this isn’t true self-promotion because people who brag are not doing themselves any favours. (That’s true!)
✅ True Self-Promotion – This is when you speak about yourself in such a way that other people want more. It’s inspiring. It’s about being empathetic and articulating the impact that you will make for them.



True, authentic self-promotion makes people want more of you!


When Should We APOLOGIZE?

Some of us apologize WAY too much. Among this group of stereotypical over-apologizers: 💃🏽 women and 🇨🇦 Canadians (said the Canadian woman).

Unnecessary apologies are like giving a voice to the inner crow. It’s essentially saying, “I don’t belong on stage. I don’t have a right to speak.” 

Image by anyaberkut from Getty Images


So, how can we overcome Apology Syndrome?


Judith has a lot to say about this. Whenever you feel that apology instinct is about to kick in, ask yourself, “Is saying ‘sorry’ necessary in this situation?”

👍 If you’ve arrived late for a meeting and kept people waiting, acknowledging this with an apology before getting down to business is reasonable. You are showing your colleagues that you value their time and that you regret inconveniencing them.

🛑 But if you’re at a meeting and find yourself saying, “I’m sorry, can I say something?” before contributing to the discussion, STOP!!!

This is an unnecessary apology, and an example of what Judith calls “diminishing expressions.”


Well put, Judith!

Thanks again to Judith.  I hope you enjoy listening to part two of our conversation.

Please forward this email to your friends who might like help with their communication skills. Thank you.

Talk soon,

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach