How to blow your own trumpet

Uncategorized Aug 22, 2022


Maybe you hear this sort of thing when you were growing up:

  • Don’t blow your own trumpet
  • Nobody wants to know how good you are
  • It's bad to brag

It's powerful advice, not because it's true, but because we get those and similar messages so often from people around us that, subconsciously, we start to believe it. 

Lets be clear: Those messages are BULLSH1T

Its ok to talk about things you’re good at. Otherwise, how will people know that you can help them? How will your boss know that they need to value you and look after you, and score you high in things like performance appraisals? How will the interviewer know that you are the best person to offer the job to?

I know it doesn’t come naturally, but here are some tips to get you going. 

 Tip 1: Accept the compliments you are given

One thing that really helps in preparation is getting used to taking compliments about yourself. In other words, listening when people say nice things about you and deliberately focussing on your own good points.

Imagine this!

You’re walking down the street one morning and you pass a friend who says “Wow! You look rough today”. 

But then you pass another who ways “Wow! You’re looking fabulous today”, and then another who says “I love that shirt you’re wearing” and another who says “You’re looking radiant this morning”

Imagine this goes on and by the time you get to where you’re going you’ve had 9 more people say something nice about you, and you’re probably feeling quite good. But, when you get home in the evening, you’re asked “how was your day?” What will you immediately remember? 

That is right, almost certainly that one negative comment - not the positive ones!

Even with positive comments, we tend to brush them off:

"You did a great job there!", and you reply, “oh, it’s just part of my job”.

"You look nice today!". You mumble an embarrassed "Oh its just some clothes I threw on". 

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it.

Listen properly when someone pays you a complement. Make a point of looking them in the eye and saying “Thank you”. Make it clear, confident and without adding anything to play it down.

And how about these: 

"You did a great job there!" Reply “Thank you, I’m pleased it was useful”

"You look nice today!" Look them in the eye and reply, “Thank you” and smile

Tip 2: focus on the positive

I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. At the end of each day, look back and focus on the positive things that happened, and take time to feel how good that felt.

Start doing this regularly and you will feel better about yourself and it will help you to start blowing your own trumpet in a good way, and playing your own tune.

Tip 3: Notice the impact you have

Think about all the things that you do in your job, but don’t stop there. Think of the outcomes you achieved. There will always be the obvious one about achieving what you set out to achieve: you delivered the project, taught the lesson, created the report, solved the problem, etc. 

Go beyond that though. Ask yourself who else benefitted and how? Who benefitted from the project? What skills did the students learn that will help them and their future employers? What did the report help the management team to do? Who did you help by solving the problem? 

If you want to talk further about how you can make this really help you make your career better, book a free Career Discovery/Strategy session: Yes! Book my Career Discover/Strategy Session 

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