Does the suspender-snapping, swell-headed creature flaunting his or her petty triumphs like peacock feathers at every staff meeting bother you? Bragging is not always a good thing, but it can be done well.
“People need to be able to talk about themselves and their work,” says Peggy Klaus, author of Brag! How to Toot Your Own Horn Without Blowing It. “Think of it as taking pride in what you’re doing. But it’s a fine line,” she warns.
The flashiest in the office pool, Klaus says, tend to launch each grandiose sentence with am emphatic “I,” she says, “Like ‘I did this, I’ve done that.”
If that includes you, then consider adopting the first person plural.
“Spread the credit around,” advises career coach Jane Cranston. “Use ‘we,’ like ‘we’re the best,’ and not ‘we’re the best because I’m the No. 1 manager in the nation.’”
A subtle self-trumpeter, Klaus says, can play an Ode to Moi without anyone at the roundtable even realizing what just happened.
“Weave your successes into a very short, pithy conversation ‘brag-o-logue,’” she hints. “It can be 5, 15 or 20 seconds, and it is said with a lot of enthusiasm and delight.”
Better yet: Let your handiwork do the gloating.
“Make sure everything you do has a certain look, a consistency, a standard,” Cranston suggests. “They’ll know it’s yours because it has your signature on it.”
Best of all?
“Get somebody to brag about you, for you,” Cranston adds. “It has so much more power.”