3 Ways to Take Credit

3 ways to take credit The Way Women Work

It happened again…

As it always does when I speak to groups of women. But this month it happened three times: 

Women ask me how they can promote themselves and take credit for their accomplishments.

The first time this month, was when I was with an exceptional group of young university students and graduates from all over the world for the Women’s Ambassador Forum at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. The second two times I was with women at all stages of their careers at the InterAmerican Development Bank.

When I speak to groups of women, I always tell them how important it is to communicate and take credit for their achievements. After all, it’s one of the most important things women can do to positively impact their careers. Whenever I do, women ask me how they can do so without coming across as “bragging” or being too self-promoting. Here are my top three tips.


  1. When you run into an influential leader or a senior person at your company or in your field and they casually ask “Hi, how are you?” The answer is never “fine”, “good” or “great.”

The answer should be something like: “I am doing really well, I am working on X” or “I am excited about X” or “I am really pleased at the success we had with X.”  Your X should be tangible and expressed clearly in a few words. Use the opportunity to quickly communicate what you’re achieving, working on, or have accomplished.

2. Ask a friend, a colleague or even a client (if you have a great relationship and if appropriate) to share one of your recent accomplishments during a meeting or at an upcoming event. Be sure to reciprocate and do the same for them on other occasions.

3. When you are thanked for an achievement, never say “it was nothing.” Always thank the person acknowledging you. Briefly state a specific part of your role in achieving the result that you are most proud of. If there are others who also deserve credit, acknowledge them after you express appreciation for the recognition you’ve received.

One thing women can do to help each other advance and achieve our full potential is to start a practice of acknowledging and appreciating each others’ results. We can highlight each other’s skills and accomplishments to build our reputations internally and externally. Though it may feel uncomfortable at first, the potential payoff will be huge!

“One thing women can do to help each other advance and achieve our full potential is to start a practice of acknowledging and appreciating each others’ results.”

For more specific ways to communicate your achievements and accept credit check out pages 258-261 in Undeterred: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies.


[gravityform id="9" title="false" description="false"]
<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper gform_wrapper_original_id_9 form-optin_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_2032242671' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_2032242671' class='form-optin gform_legacy_markup' action='/2016/06/3-ways-take-credit/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_2032242671' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_1"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_2032242671_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_2032242671_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your email address...' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield gfield--width-full field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_2"><label class='gfield_label screen-reader-text' for='input_2032242671_2' ></label><div id='input_2032242671_2' class='ginput_container ginput_recaptcha' data-sitekey='6LcyezAkAAAAAA3Kho1a3FrhCYMNOI5DUDVMW6k9' data-theme='light' data-tabindex='-1' data-size='invisible' data-badge='bottomright'></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_2032242671' class='gform_button button' value='Signup' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_2032242671"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_2032242671")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_2032242671")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_2032242671"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_2032242671"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_2032242671")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_2032242671")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_2032242671"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_2032242671").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsImMxMzRhMzk5YzQxY2VlNmExMzUwYWQxYjkxOGY3ZjU3Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_random_id' value='2032242671' /><input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='' /> </div> <p style="display: none !important;"><label>&#916;<textarea name="ak_hp_textarea" cols="45" rows="8" maxlength="100"></textarea></label><input type="hidden" id="ak_js_4" name="ak_js" value="198"/><script>document.getElementById( "ak_js_4" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() );</script></p></form> </div>