Do you have a hard time owning your expertise and authority? Meredith Fineman’s new book Brag Better challenges you let the world know about what you’ve done.
A Review of Brag Better by Meredith Fineman
Are you a member of the Qualified Quiet: the people who keep showing up, doing great work, and waiting for others to notice their contributions or excellence?
If you want to make an impact with your work, you have to step out of the Qualified Quiet. You need to speak up for yourself and let other people see you.
Meredith Fineman offers detailed advice for how to do that in her new book, Brag Better: Master the Art of Fearless Self-Promotion.
Why You Might Need This Book
As someone who has spent much of her life as a card-carrying member of the Qualified Quiet, I find the advice in Brag Better invaluable. Fineman gets to the heart of a problem that many people face, particularly women: not knowing how to talk about their own accomplishments in a way that others need to hear.
The title might put you off for a moment. Bragging? Self-Promotion?
Many women, of a certain age and in Western cultures, were brought up not to brag. Don’t be braggy. Don’t put yourself forward. We have internalized those values.
But there’s a difference between bragging, with all of its negative connotations, and letting others know about your accomplishments.
You’ll note that the subtitle is Fearless Self-Promotion, not Shameless Self-Promotion.
What You’ll Find
The book begins with the why and how of “bragging” or speaking up for yourself. Here’s a hint:
Being a member of The Qualified Quiet is a good thing. It’s not a weakness, it’s a strength. We need you. You are essentially the backbone of our society and workforce. We just need to hear from you.Meredith Fineman in Brag Better
She outlines four key elements of effective bragging: gratitude, pride, presentation, and showmanship. Be thankful for the opportunity. Take pride in your accomplishments. (That doesn’t sound too boastful, does it?)
Fineman asks that we redefine bragging:
“Bragging Better requires cultivating pride in your work and then taking small actions that help you share it with those around you.”
She offers advice and exercises for talking about your accomplishments. Then, she looks at how to apply these practices in various situations. There’s solid, practical advice on a range of topics, including:
- What to put in your bios and personal website
- How to pitch media
- Public speaking
- Salary negotiations
Fineman includes plenty of stories and inspiration to help you take the next step, as well as how to deal with negative reactions or pushback.
If Not For Yourself, Then for Others
If you’re still uncomfortable with the idea of promoting your accomplishments, learn how to promote others. She suggests that you use these skills to elevate the voices of those around you.
“Raise your voice because others cannot. Raise your voice because it is your duty to others whose voices can’t be heard or aren’t allowed to be used.”Meredith Fineman in Brag Better
Listen to my interview with Jennifer Dulski, author of Purposeful.