Yesterday’s post on Self-Promotion drove some interesting feedback. Some people shared their ideas on what they are doing or have done for self-promotion. I will be sharing some of those additional ideas on how you can self-promote in tomorrow’s blog. Others said they they don’t self-promote at all unless it is for their team. I would like to address this situation in today’s blog because this happened to me.
At one point in my career, I was given the feedback that I wasn’t promoting myself and my team enough. This was good concrete feedback that I could take action on, so I started doing more self-promotion. I encouraged my team to get out in front of senior leadership to do presentations or have one on one meetings with them. I had them take the lead on task forces so that they would be more visible and have the opportunity to show people their capabilities. Here is an example of where this backfired on me a bit. I am sharing this with you so you don’t have to go through these things too 🙂
My team and another team worked for about a month on this big project and we needed to present the findings to senior leadership. One of my team members was leading the effort and I wanted her to do the presentation to get the recognition for all of her hard work. Everything in the presentation went really well and I was happy that she was getting visibility. However, the feedback that I got later was that I should have handled that differently. It was good that I let her present the information, but I should have kicked it off so that I could promote that my leadership was the driver to get the work completed. This was an interesting lesson for me and I changed things after that feedback. I kicked off all the presentations for my team and then let them present the information. I slight nuance to how to promote the work, but it was effective.
This type of situation may not be something you will encounter at your company, but if you do then you will know how to handle it. Pay attention to how other leaders at your company are self-promoting either themselves or their teams in meetings. How are they saying things? Are they getting positive feedback? Do they say things in a way that comes off as bragging? I learned a lot by just observing these behaviors. Watching how the self-promotion messages were being sent and received taught me a lot.
The bottom line is that self-promotion is important for you and your team. They don’t have the same opportunities that you do to promote themselves because they aren’t in all of the situations that you are in as their leader. Take those opportunities when they come along to ensure that you are promoting both you and your team’s great accomplishments. You should also encourage your team members to start doing this for themselves in meetings or hallway conversations. Have them start out small in one on one conversations and then move to doing it in front of a group. Both you and your team will be focusing on it now, so you can hold each other accountable to do more of it and see how much your visibility grows.