When to Promote a Colleague

By Ronn Torossian, an Overdrive contributor and president/CEO of 5W Public Relations

There’s a tried and true maxim in any career path: You need to know the right people to get where you want to go in your career. In most cases, you will need to leverage the skills, experience and expertise of a colleague, mentor, or co-worker in order to advance in your own career.

Of course this dynamic forces young professionals to walk a fine line between promoting their own interests and putting their colleagues “over” themselves. But how do you navigate this tightrope, and earn the accolades, without over selling those that help you along? The principles of public relations can help answer that question.

1. Be thankful

You will never go wrong beginning any conversation by thanking those who have helped you accomplish something. When you honestly and earnestly appreciate someone else’s contribution, they will be more likely to help you in the future.

2. Be specific

Don’t generalize or pander. When thanking someone or speaking about how a mentor has helped you in your career, be sure to offer some specific appreciation and respect. Generalizing in these situations can make you look petty, or even desperate.

3. Use context 

When talking about how someone has helped your success, do so in the context of how they helped you succeed at a specific task. What did YOU accomplish with their help? You still get the credit while offering them well deserved thanks for the assist.

4. Consider the audience

Before delivering any specific praise – about others or yourself – be sure to consider what your audience wants to hear. Emphasize the elements that will most impress that particular audience.

By following these tips, young professionals can successfully walk the line between self promotion and self demotion, giving credit where credit is due while not allowing your own brand to be lost in the process.

You can learn more about Ronn, and read more of his articles, by visiting CrunchBase.

Categories: Best Practices LEADERSHIP Public Relations


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