In the tough world of work, we all need to do a little self-promotion from time to time.
But there is a difficult balance to strike between making our achievements known without appearing unpleasant.
Now a study has found the answer: Highlight your coworkers’ accomplishments while illuminating your own.
Researchers say this “dual promotion” tactic is the perfect way to ensure we are perceived as competent while also radiating “warmth.”
“We show that by promoting others (describing the achievements and qualities of others) and at the same time promoting themselves (describing one’s own achievements and qualities), individuals can project warmth and competence,” the researchers stated.
In the tough world of work, we all need to do a little self-promotion from time to time. But there is a difficult balance to strike between making our achievements known without appearing unpleasant. Now a study has found the answer: highlight your coworkers’ achievements while illuminating your own (file image)
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The team, from Vanderbilt University, George Mason University and the University of Pennsylvania, distinguished dual promotion from ingratiation, where a person says something positive about someone to their face or in their presence, making a good impression on them. the person receiving the message. praise.
Dual promotion involves one person highlighting the achievements of others even when those other people are not present.
A person could use double promotion in, for example, a job interview, where none of his or her colleagues were present.
“With dual promotion, the goal is not to directly improve relationships with the person being congratulated, but rather to demonstrate to a third party that you care about that other person to demonstrate your own warmth and competence,” said Dr. Eric Van Epps. one of the authors of the study.
However, he said most people don’t try double promotion when they encounter situations like a job interview.
In a pilot study, they surveyed hiring managers, who said that the majority of candidates they interviewed (69.1 percent) only self-promoted, while only 12.6 percent engaged in double promotion.
“It seems like people don’t think about speaking positively about others in the moment, or they’re worried about making themselves look worse by comparison,” said Dr. VanEpps, an associate professor of marketing at Vanderbilt University.
“But we found over and over again that it’s good to congratulate your colleagues, especially (this is the ‘double’ part of dual promotion), in addition to claiming credit for your own skills and achievements.”
Researchers say this “dual promotion” tactic is the perfect way to ensure we are perceived as competent while also radiating “warmth” (file image)
For the study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers completed seven experiments with 1,488 participants.
Observers evaluated people involved in dual promotion compared to other “impression management strategies,” in a variety of contexts.
In one experiment, 200 hiring managers were asked to read about two colleagues who had completed a joint project and evaluate themselves.
The colleague who used dual promotion wrote: ‘This project was successful because of our teamwork.
‘I took care of all the financial analysis, technical processes and back-end design. Alex really impressed me with the way he handled communications with our clients.
“We both took charge of what we do best and that led to a great result.”
The other colleague, who used “self-promotion”, wrote: “This project was successful thanks to the efficient technical details.”
‘My skill set was a perfect fit for this project, so I took care of all the financial analysis, technical processes and back-end design.
“I took charge of what I do best and got a great result.”
Managers rated the two candidates virtually the same on competence, but the dual-promoted candidate was rated significantly higher on warmth, scoring 5.65, on average, on a seven-point scale, compared to 4. .14 for the self-promoting candidate.
Additionally, managers had a more positive overall impression of the dual-promotion candidate, with a score of 5.83 on a seven-point scale, compared to the self-promotion candidate, who scored 4.67.
The research team said that previous studies have identified “so many behaviors” that people perform around self-promotion that, while they make a good impression on one dimension, end up harming the way people think of them on another, for example. which scholars have coined the term “the “Self-Promotion Dilemma.”
They concluded: ‘In this work, we identify a novel approach to solving the self-promotion dilemma, which we call ‘dual promotion.’