A fellow-coach recently sent out a request for advice she could share with one of her clients about how to toot his own horn without sounding like a jerk.  Yes, we coaches do have our own “insiders group” which is really neat when you get into a conversation with a coach who specializes in lawyers, another auto mechanic shops and the third bakery owners. 

Believe it or not practically every industry has superstars who credit much of their success to a coach.  Even coaches have coaches, even me.  The way I figure it, what could be better than investing in myself?  Anyway, the following was my contribution to a fellow coach.  Thought I would share this little “RJonism” just in case your carpet-cleaner suddenly starts telling you about a proud moment in his or her business.

(As an aside, it surprised me to learn recently there are more than a few millionaire-carpet-cleaners.  But just like in any other industry I suppose, the majority don't do nearly as well even though they could)


Here's my tip. .

We've all heard the old saying that “It's not bragging if it's true”.
Notwithstanding old sayings though, we've also had that same awkward,
self-conscious and conflicted feeling upon finding ourselves in a
position to advance our interests but not quite knowing how to “brag”
about ourselves without coming across like a jerk.  If only someone
would come along and do our bragging for us!  The solution many of my
Rainmaking clients and I have used with much success is to be very
honest and straightforward about what we are doing, and a little
self-deprecating humor doesn't hurt either.  For example. . . “You know
it's always awkward to have to toot my own horn but something I am very
proud of is [fill in your relevant facts here]”. 

The keys to making
this work are

1.) Be brief.  Once you have shared your facts shut-up
and cede the floor to someone else;

2.) Be relevant.  Sharing a fact or
anecdote about yourself that contributes to the general direction of
the conversation is much less likely to be held against you than
bragging about something off-topic; and 

3.) Be always prepared to brag twice
as much about someone else in the group as yourself
.  If you have a
reputation for speaking positively about others people will cut you alot of
slack when the time comes to speak positively about yourself.

As an exercise let's see how many of you can send me an email that begins with For example. . . “You know
it's always awkward to have to toot my own horn but something I am very
proud of is [fill in your relevant facts here]”.  Please be sure to write Bragging in the subject line so I can sort them all together and pick from the best.  my email is rjon@howtomakeitrain.com