For most of us, we’re taught at a fairly young age, that it’s not a very good idea to brag (or strut your stuff).  I’m not sure why this is the case but somewhere along the way we seem to have lost the ability to help others strut their stuff (think of the peacock pictured in this post).  It seems to me that these two aspects of communication are clearly intertwined.

What I mean is that if we subscribe to the idea of not bragging, then it makes sense to not assist other people to brag.  Hmmm…what if there’s another way of thinking about this? Good news is that there is another perspective to consider.  Many individuals believe they’re just too busy to notice others and what they’ve accomplished.  For those of us who are or aspire to be viewed as leaders, it’s imperative to not only pay attention to those around us but to create opportunities for our staff or colleagues to identify their strengths.  As we know, it’s common to ask on Friday “Any special plans for the weekend?”  Pretty mundane question that generally doesn’t go anywhere.  Try replacing that question with this one “Looking back at the work week, what accomplishment are you most proud of?”  This helps someone else reflect on their week at work and then identify a project or task they feel good about either working on or completing.  It’s a terrific opportunity for a person to take credit for their effort and for you to learn something important that may have previously been unknown.  You can easily follow-up on this line of communication.

Try it out and see what positive results you get when you help others strut.  With any luck, they’ll reciprocate!