Accomplishments: Telling Your Own Story

We all do things that we are proud of.  Sometimes we do amazing things simply because they need to be done, and sometimes those things get recognized by others, sometime they don’t.  The trick is keeping track of those accomplishments, especially those you are proud of, without alienating others.  Tooting your own horn can look like you are bragging.  And being a woman who brags is just not professionally acceptable. 

In the many years as educators we’ve had the privilege of meeting so many absolutely, wonderfully, accomplished women.  Teacher’s doing an amazing job educating students who have a wide variety of learning and emotional needs.  Principals going above and beyond their required job duties because they know that the student or teacher needs them.  Superintendents making way for innovative, creative and out-of-the-textbook educators in spite of pressure from outsiders to keep classrooms uniform. We’ve also been in conversations where those amazing educators were viewed as ineffectual simply because someone was threatened by their accomplishments. Many accomplished educators just don’t tell their story because of the myths about self promotion.

Our own humility is doing education a disservice and the need to tell about public education’s accomplishments is greater now than it has ever been.  We all know educators who made their students think, who brought out talents no one know they had, and who inspired their students to change the world.  So, how do we tell about our accomplishments without appearing arrogant?

Facts, just the facts!  In conversations, in blog posts, inTwitter feeds and on Facebook statuses state your accomplishments as well as those in your network.  LinkedIn has a “Projects” feature designed for sharing accomplishments.  Use that feature to show what you are doing.  State them in a matter-of-fact way. Include those who helped make the accomplishment a reality, even if it’s someone’s influence from years back.  Be concise, be complimentary, be authentic, be humble and be confident.  We have the power and the tools to tell our stories.  We have the experience and the knowledge necessary to show that we do make a difference.  We have the obligation and responsibility to make our voices heard so that our story gets out there and the world knows what wonderful accomplishments we’ve made  in education!

Since this is another post in my series from the book “What Works With Women at Work” by Williams & Dempsey I’ve focused on women although the advice here can apply to anyone.

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