I am trying to get better at bragging.
I’m not very good at it. And, as it turns out, that’s nothing to brag about.
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen people with mediocre skills sail right on by people with exceptional skills, simply because they were better at one thing. Bragging.
They may not actually come right out and say ‘I am the best at this’, but they obviously believe it to be true and they are masters at promoting themselves at any opportunity.
Look at Oprah. Her show is about… Oprah.
Arianna named her media outlet The Huffington Post.
Justin Bieber got discovered after posting videos of himself on YouTube.
I do not say this critically, but with great admiration. If you want the spotlight, you must learn to be comfortable in it.
The Generation Gap
The thing is gen X or Y or whatever letter represents ‘the kids these days’ are not only good at bragging, it defines them. Everything they do is about look at me, follow me, I have more friends than you, here’s a picture of – me!
And they are kicking our modest butts because we were raised not to brag.
Something To Brag About
There are three reasons I want to get better at bragging.
1. Before you can brag, you have to think about what you’re good at. While many people tend to think about their weaknesses, bragging will help you focus on your strengths.
2. Bragging is marketing. It’s really just a way of saying this is why you should listen to me, trust me, invest in me or hire me.
3. What if you are good at something that others are not good at, and they’d be willing to pay you for your services?
Of course there are some things you may be good at that may not serve you in any spectacular way.
For instance, I’m good at making my tongue into a square, doing an imitation of a horse, and doing an imitation of Superman. But, unless I want to be in a sideshow at the circus or the main attraction at kiddie parties, there’s no point in bragging about it.
On the other hand, there are many things that I’m good at that could translate well in the workplace.
1. I’m good at asking the right questions. Questions that lead to answers – which not all questions do. Some questions just lead to more questions.
2. I’m good at problem solving. I love puzzles and I used to love word problems in math. I love to put together IKEA furniture and kids’ toys.
3. I’m a really good conversationalist.
Sometimes, when you’re good at something, you don’t even realize it until someone else says they’re not good at it. I remember a guy telling me he was a bad conversationalist. I said ‘What’s to be good at??’ That was the end of our conversation.
So…here’s a question that may help you solve a problem or, at the very least, it will give you something to talk about.
What Are You Good At??
Really. I want you to brag.
You can tell me one thing, or several. I am always fascinated by the ‘skills’ people bring to the table – and more often than not, they don’t even realize it.
Let’s Make A Deal
If more than 50 people leave a ‘bragging’ comment, I will post a picture of myself making my tongue into a square. If more than 100 people leave a comment, I will also offer my horse imitation – or maybe my superman imitation.
They’re both good.
What are you good at? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
About the artist: Mike Davenport’s ‘art’ is translating complex ideas into simple images. You can check out more of his work at StickFigureSimple.com.