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Need more visibility in your company but...

Not "the kind of person who shows off"?

This ONE by Yolanda Yu

This ONE idea and its manifestations in life and career

Happy This ONE Friday!

You are doing well in your career and poised to get promoted. Then a mentor, often also a senior executive, tells you that you must become more visible in the larger organization for bigger success.

You know what that means: shout out about your achievement, speak more, speak louder, socialize, network, pitch, sell, boast. You know the mentor is a well-wisher. You know visibility brings many benefits and it is important to be seen. But you feel this resistance in your body – as if you must trade your soul for career success.

To work with this internal conflict, first, we need to understand what’s behind the resistance.

the values and assumptions you hold behind this resistance.

This ONE Idea

“There is often an assumption, if not, value or belief behind a resistance.”

I’m not the kind of person who shows off!

❤️ You value creating real value.

⚠️ You might have taken on a societal judgment unconsciously: Showing off is bad. This judgment is mostly because of an assumption commonly held: People who show off create less value. While this assumption can be true in some cases, it is not necessarily always true, especially for you, a person who always prioritizes value.

🚩 It is possible and your choice to make happen: showing off and creating value at the same time.

I’m not the kind of person who boasts!

❤️ You value honesty.

⚠️Your assumption: showing off means putting yourself in an overly positive light.

🚩 However, the dosage of honesty is your choice. What if boasting is not a must and you could just let people see what is truly happening?

I’m not the kind of person who wants to praise myself…

❤️You value selflessness/altruism.

⚠️ You might even see your Asian/Confucious value or female identity as opposed to a western culture that promotes assertiveness. Well, we could use a different framing, really. The assumption here is: Getting visible = praising myself.

🚩 What if it’s not about you?

What if you are not just getting visibility for yourself, but for your team - the idea your team is working on, the momentum your team has achieved so far, the challenges your team is facing, and the collaborative invite your team wants to have?

What if it is a stage for you to take your value-drivenness, altruism and honesty to a much larger scale so that more value can be created, more people benefit from it, and no honesty suffers?

It’s burdensome to do the extra work of “showing off”

❤️ You value a sense of responsibility.

⚠️ Your assumption is that “showing off” is not part of doing your work. What if “showing” is an important part of “doing,” for you to usher in more resources, build more alliances and support, and also improve synergy at the organizational level?

🚩 Your mentors probably unconsciously anchor “increasing visibility” on your individual career development. However, at your level of seniority (and accelerating), I know your interest is beyond your personal career. You genuinely want to be more impactful in the organization, and as a result, you get seen, and your career rocks.

Your career development happens as an outcome of increased visibility and business growth. It should not be the goal or the motive for you to get seen. After all, you are against being seen as a person advocating for him/herself.

Now, you might finally arrive at the real show stopper.

I don’t know how to talk to people outside my direct organization

⚠️ Aha. So you admit that you are not in your comfort zone with this. And it’s the easiest to fix. You are a highly resourceful executive who has achieved many amazing things. Once you have a purpose and set your mind to doing it, it is only a matter of time before you figure out how to do it expertly.

🚩 And there are plenty of resources online. If you have decided that you will be the “show-off type”, here’s a recommendation for some articles you might find helpful.

Question For You

Anything has shifted for you after reading this article - about whether you are a “show-off” type?


Until next week,

Yolanda Yu
Coach and lifelong learner

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Every Friday, I share ONE idea and its manifestations and 1 question for you to ponder. Other ingredients you can expect will be book extracts, quotes, metaphors, tools, resources, and mini-exercises to keep growing your self-awareness.