The Impression You Create as a Leader

Dateline: November 20, 2015

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

When asked about your biggest weakness, is your answer honest or designed to impress?  A recent article in Harvard Business Review by HBS Professor Francesca Gino, suggests that most of us would answer in a way that she calls humblebragging.  For example, the answer to the question about your biggest weakness might be “I work too hard and that interferes with my goal of work-life balance.”  While that might be true, the answer is really designed to brag about how hard you work, not that you don’t have work-life balance.  Professor Gino’s article, The Right Way to Brag about Yourself, suggests that this type of answer backfires more often than you think.  She writes,

Our intuitions on what types of strategies will create a positive impression on others are often wrong. We believe that humblebragging will be more effective than simply bragging, when, in fact, it backfires. And we also believe that catering to others’ interests and expectations will make us look good, when in fact simply being oneself delivers better results.

What is your answer to the question of your biggest weakness?  Do you humblebrag? or do you answer honestly?   What impression are you creating?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a fantastic weekend!


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