Most people view an accomplishment as either a degree or a great hike up a great mountain, but few realise that an accomplishment means something different to different people.
Learning to think about your accomplishments differently will help you gain confidence and influence your future more productively.
In the process of an interview, a question like, “What is your greatest accomplishment?” can set anyone stuttering and stumbling over their words. Interviewers class this type of question as a ‘behavioural interview question’ and most times is asked to get a better insight into someone’s psyche. It’s a hot-button question. Do they like talking about themselves? Are they confident in what they have achieved so far? What do they view success as?
The first and very important thing to remember whenever you are asked that question or something similar, is that your confidence in yourself must shine through, no matter the answer.
Your levels of accomplishment are very different to someone else’s. The only common denominator would be how you view and express those accomplishments.
If you sit there, shyly look away and mumble out what you have achieved, even if it was qualifying as a Certificate CA, the person listening will most likely feel like you haven’t achieved much.
Delivery is everything.
The type of delivery you give can also be seen through the words you write and not only those that you speak.
From your online profile to the 30 second elevator speech you give at the next network meeting, your delivery needs to speak volumes.
Here are a few tips on how you can start thinking about your accomplishments differently and start making people aware:
Make the List
No matter how small or big you consider the achievement to be, write it down. It could be that you managed to conceive a child to passing your drivers. It could be clocking the 100th referral receipt at your network to hitting the R1 million mark in your investment. They are all accomplishments. They are tasks or projects you set for yourself where you managed to reach a certain accolade. Write them all down – they all count.
Read them out loud
As a general rule, most of us humans are not great with bragging about our achievements. We don’t particularly like it when someone else goes on about what they have done and what they have mastered. But, starting with reading your accomplishments out loud to yourself is a good way to feel more confident. It is also in how you say it. Always keep your tone conversational, but not too much matter-of-fact either. A quiet informative, yet engaging tone is great. Remember, most times someone has asked you the question around your accomplishments and so you must answer – they are expecting you to answer.
Feel proud – be proud
When you feel proud about what you have achieved it will shine through in your face and words. And, there is no harm in that. It may even sound good if you start off with, “I feel very proud in myself for …”. Or “It has been a great feeling knowing that I managed to …”. People will respond better to that kind of intro to your accomplishments. You are stating a fact, but also showing some humility.
If you still really struggle with just stating the facts about what you have achieved, put it forward in the form of a testimonial. Stating what someone else said about you is a softer approach and then takes the heat away from you. You will need to of course, ask your clients, colleagues and anyone who was involved to write up a testimonial. You don’t need to read it out – that would be a bit nerdish – unless you are presenting. Just keep it in your head for that right moment. You could start out by saying, “Well, if my closest client could be here, he would tell you that I …” or “My college professor always used to say this about me …”
Again, accomplishments mean something different to different people and you need to be proud of your accomplishments, no matter what they are.