Fear of Brownnosing

I was coaching a young professional woman recently on how best to seek recognition for something great she had done at work, and the first thing I told her was to get over the fear of being considered a brownnoser. It holds a lot of people back, women especially. There are ways to get the message out without coming off as a total jerk. You need to say, "Here's what I did," but you have to add value over and above that, so that the take-away isn't just, "Look at me, aren't I wonderful."

For example, if you've just closed a deal, you can send out an email or organize a short session in the spirit of "lessons learned." The email can say, in effect: "We did this deal. These were the issues we ran up against, and here's how we got around them. This is what we learned, hope it's helpful to you you. Give me a call if you'd like to discuss." Your superiors will want to use that information to make themselves look good (they have their own bosses to brownnose), so give them that ammunition. They won't see it as brownnosing -- in fact, they'd be unhappy if you missed that opportunity.  Also, make sure not to cc everyone and his brother -- that kind of email will get deleted automatically. Be smart about your distribution list.