Promote Yourself Without Seeming Self-Centered…

Talking about your accomplishments can make you appear more competent, but it can also make you seem colder, less friendly, and more selfish. In contrast, self-deprecation, deflecting credit, or sharing setbacks can make you seem more approachable—but less competent.

Researchers found that you can walk this tightrope by practicing “dual promotion,” or pairing a self-promotional statement with one that highlights or compliments someone else.

Start by identifying whom you want to promote alongside yourself. At the office, praise your colleagues’ work before you mention your own. If you compete in some kind, compliment your competitor. If you’re engaged in a more individual endeavor—for example, writing a novel—compliment a colleague whom you admire. Be sure that your compliments of others are genuine and specific. Overly general praise lands as disingenuous and fake.

Then, focus on yourself. Share your meaningful achievements—and don’t be shy about claiming the credit you deserve.

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