Touting one’s accomplishments isn’t easy, especially for women. If you’re like me, you may feel embarrassed or even a bit ashamed about speaking openly about your successes.
This mentality has to stop.
Along with changing our personal views, though, much has to change in corporate culture. In a recent article, Rebecca Horan mentions several studies that establish why women are less likely to “brag” about their accomplishments. Namely, women receive more backlash when they brag than men receive. “The truth is that all of us (yes, this includes women) can be harder on women than men are,” Horan states.
It’s no wonder we women are tentative about self-promotion and want nothing more than to avoid it at all costs. Yet in order to make it either as a corporate professional or an entrepreneur, we have to face the dreaded promotion block again and again. Otherwise, our talents may go unnoticed for years or even forever.
Thankfully, learning to “brag” doesn’t have to be yucky.
In her article, Horan lists four ways women can stop being so modest about their accomplishments. It all starts with saying a simple “Thank you!” in response to a compliment.
In another article, Anna James identifies six ways in which women can become more comfortable with speaking about themselves. “People respond to effort and enthusiasm, not hot air,” James notes. This, she explains, is all the more reason to talk about our passions and motivations in place of boastful successes.
Horan also advises using measurable results as evidence. Statistical data can turn unprovable claims into indisputable truths. “Plus,” Horan states, “relying on hard data can remove the emotion from the equation, making it easier for your audience to accept and for you to share.” Depending on your customer base, this may be a more suitable approach. Testimonials from customers can also eliminate the subjectivity of your own statements.
In the end, the fact remains that we women have much to contribute and we shouldn’t feel ashamed about talking about what we’ve done in the workplace or with our own businesses. The more confident we become in ourselves, the more we will break down outdated gender norms. Both the corporate culture and the entrepreneurial world will benefit.