Advance Your Prospects by Asking for Advice

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The Advantages of Self-Promotion

Successful professionals understand the value of self-promotion – helping others see what you’ve accomplished and what you can achieve for them.

But while self-promotion can project a competent image, it can take a toll on likability. As a self-promotion tool, a humble request for advice achieves self-promotion without arrogance, flattery, or sycophancy.

Consider the story of Steve, an associate in a law firm who was invited by a prestigious legal society to give a talk based on his two published law review articles. He needed input about his talk, and he also wanted to spread the news of his coup.

Steve approached a senior partner who had previously presented a case to the same society. He explained that he’d love to get their advice about issues that would spark the audience’s interest. He also wanted to know how to frame his remarks to avoid provoking controversial questions from the notoriously contentious group.

The partner was not only pleased that the illustrious society had taken notice of one of the firm’s rising stars, but she was flattered by the advice request. She told the other partners about Steve’s recognition and worked closely with him to prepare his talk, advancing his prospects both inside and outside the firm.


Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


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