By Kathleen Bell, ABC SCMP 

Show, not tell. Letting my clients speak for me. Having my work stand on its own. Yup, there’s a number of ways that I’ve talked myself *out* of bragging and sharing any hubris with others. 

Can I blame it on my mother? She raised a nice girl who has a tough time telling others that she’s a pretty great communicator. As I stood up at IABC’s Leadership Institute this past February and was told to brag about myself, I had a flood of emotions stalling me and preventing my contribution. 

According to Entrepreneur magazine, I’m not alone. Many women are terrible at bragging about themselves. Since the communications industry is largely female, there’s a good chance I have allies. 

Back to Leadership Institute. People in the room were asked to find a couple of strangers, then share three things about themselves. You couldn’t talk about your partner or your kids – just you. And, the things you talked about had to be items you were proud to share. We were encouraged to brag. If you can imagine, a room of 150 communicators was quiet for a few moments. 

Then, something magical happened. My group – two strangers and myself – shared things with each other demonstrating why modesty is likely a bygone virtue. This was elevated networking. It wasn’t “who are you”, “what do you do”… we shared pretty meaningful information about ourselves. I glanced around the room (now abuzz with conversation) and could see the rest of the communicators excitedly enjoying this elevated kind of networking. Bragging is a great way to get to know each other.

So when IABC/Calgary asked if my husband’s new company might consider being a sponsor for the chapter, we were keen to offer a chance for people to come together and talk about themselves in (perhaps) an immodest way. “Brag N’ Brew”, to be held once a month for IABC/Calgary members gives us that chance. We’ll meet the first Tuesday of each month and get to know each other, share our successes and celebrate with a toast (beer, beer cocktails or artisan sodas). Inner City Brewing will buy the first round for IABC/Calgary members.  Men are definitely welcome.

Bragging required.

Who: IABC/Calgary members (non-members can join us for $10)

What: Brag N’ Brew – a networking opportunity with hubris for IABC members

Where: Inner City Brewing – 816 11 Ave SW Calgary

When: First Tuesday of every month – 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

I’ll see you there.

Kathleen Bell, ABC SCMP is the owner of kbell communications, a marketing and communication consultancy specializing in strategic work to maximize employee engagement. As an IABC volunteer for most of her career, Kathleen has served the organization locally, regionally and internationally. In 2017, she was named Longstanding Volunteer of the Year by the IABC Calgary chapter. She’s been president of the IABC/Calgary chapter and chair of the IABC Canada West Region board. Last year, she served as Secretary/Treasurer for IABC’s International Executive Board.

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