Self-Confidence: The Unexpected Secret to Success in The Workplace
January 15, 2019
By: Cathie Ericson
The coworker who effortlessly speaks up in a meeting, while you sit tongue-tied. The manager who makes a suggestion to a client that ultimately scores a hefty piece of new business. Sure, they’re probably great at their job, but there’s likely another quality that’s making them successful—self-confidence. When we feel confident about ourselves, we’re more likely to exude assurance that we’re capable—and when you believe it, others will, too.
If you’re struggling to feel assured at work, it’s time for a confidence boost. Here are six confidence tips to help you earn a position as the most self-assured person in the room.
Find someone to emulate
We’ve all heard the expression “fake it till you make it.” And sometimes being self-confident is about acting that way, even if you don’t always feel it. Because here’s a little secret: Most people have times they don’t feel confident, even if they look like it.
That’s why one of the best confidence tips is to find someone who has that spirit you aspire to and study some of their self-confidence hacks. For example, maybe they don’t hesitate to speak out in a meeting when everyone else stays quiet. Or, it could be their style of dress that gives them that air of confidence. By finding a “role model” (they never have to know!) you can examine ways to build your confidence and then try it yourself.
Know your stuff
Think back to a time when you had that feeling of, “I got this!” Maybe it was because you had read all about a potential client before your meeting so were able to answer their questions masterfully, or you rehearsed a presentation over and over so you could deliver it flawlessly.
Being prepared is the best confidence hack there is. It will allow you to walk into work knowing you’re ready to slay the day. Before a meeting, review the agenda and jot down points to make. Make every effort to be up to speed on your company, your industry and your clients so you can ask intelligent questions and make informed suggestions. Start the day browsing online industry news and attend networking events to stay informed on developments.
Showcase your strengths
When you really shine at a task, that glow can translate into doing other things well, too. That’s why the more you can show your team and boss what you’re good at, the more you will exude self-confidence in all areas. So if you’re a whiz at writing, volunteer to write the department newsletter. If you are a creative idea machine, speak up at brainstorming meetings. You want to demonstrate your top skills in your day-to-day work so make sure your manager knows areas where you can make a contribution.
Improve areas where you’re weak
If there’s a skill you want to improve, see if you can give it a go in a low-stakes environment. For example, if numbers aren’t your thing but you want to learn more about budgets, find a non-profit with a treasury committee where you can work alongside an expert. Or, if you want to become more adept at public speaking, join a group like Toastmasters International where you can hone your skills, and then practice speaking up in meetings with your team before you tackle a client presentation. When you master a skill, you build confidence in all areas.
Focus on when you did something well
Have a client who doesn’t seem to like anything you do? Rather than taking unwarranted criticism to heart, which can shake anyone’s self-confidence, reflect on clients and projects where you did thrive. It can be powerful to revisit those moments of success, so start building a file of positive remarks and recommendations that can help build confidence. The next time someone sends you a “you rock” email, copy it to a new file. Just a quick scroll through kind words will help you remember those successes and restore your confidence so you can go out there and get the job done.
Remember that confidence is not arrogance
There’s a fine line between confidence and “overconfidence,” and no one wants to be around the latter. When you veer into overconfidence, you start to discount other people’s ideas, forging ahead without considering other potential courses of action. People who are truly confident know that working with the team elevates them, rather than diminishes them. So let your light shine, but never at the expense of others.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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