We all know that confidence is critical to professional success and to building a positive and professional image at work. What we may not know, however, is how to consistently and effectively display that confidence.
Indeed, exuding confidence when you’ve been challenged, proven wrong, or when you’re just feeling a little down in the dumps is not always easy. Fortunately, there are still some tricks and tips you can employ to show a strong, confident demeanor at work. Consider this:
- Maintain a razor-like focus on your top strength. Even if your self-esteem is waning, consider your top strength and hold onto it for all it’s worth. A key to confidence is believing in yourself, and focusing on your strengths will help reinforce the idea that you are talented. Focusing on your talents will help you walk taller, make stronger eye contact, give a proper handshake, and simply own your personal space.
- Be prepared for threats and questioning. Keep in mind that you may be teased for making improvements (i.e., displaying a more positive attitude, attending to your appearance more, etc). Your colleagues may feel threatened by your confidence and question it with statements like, “Are you trying to kiss up?” or “What’s up with your new look?” Just be prepared and vow not to be shaken to your core because of others’ lack of self-confidence when they direct it toward you.
- Welcome encouragement and feedback from your network. The key people in your life—your spouse or partner, family members, close friends, long time colleagues all want to see you be successful. So, accept their praise when they give it, and also accept their feedback with open ears. Always remember that success comes from having a team around you that supports your dreams.
- Take 5 seconds before you answer a question or speak. We all have the tendency to blurt out the first thing that comes to our mind when asked a question. Of course, this can have its ramifications. You can say something you didn’t mean or miss-speak; both of which can have an impact on your confidence later on down the road. So, make it a habit to take 5 seconds to formulate what you want to say before you speak. It could be as simple as telling yourself that you will answer the question in a positive and confident manner. Taking just a few seconds to prep yourself before you speak can take your self-confidence a long way.
Remember, confidence isn’t necessarily something you are born with. You need to build and refine it over time. Practice the strategies above and you will certainly take your confidence to the next level!
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter,
and those who matter don't mind.”
― Bernard M. Baruch