by Sam at Management 3.0
One of the most important things leaders must have is confidence. Whether it’s while leading teams, working with stakeholders, developing skills, giving talks, or rallying the troops, anything a leader does has to be done with confidence. If not, it makes it harder to get people on board with your ideas, to foster trust and even a positive culture at work.
So what can leaders do to gain confidence? Here are five concrete places to start:
#1: Act As If: Some people call this faking it until you make it, others call it combatting imposter syndrome. However you want to refer to it, the idea is that you have to own and believe that you should be in the position that you’re in and this starts by acting ‘as if’. What does this mean? For people wanting to improve their confidence, think of someone you consider extremely confident. Someone that oozes confidence, someone you’d like to be as confident as. Have that person in your head the next time you want to come off as being confident. Act as if you were that person. Or act as if you deserve to be in the role you’re in, even if somewhere inside you, you don’t believe you should be there. Once you start owning it, even if you don’t believe it, your actions and body language will help change the way you feel emotionally.
#2: Keep Learning: The more we learn, the smarter, more knowledgable and more resourceful we are and the better we feel about ourselves. When we can bring new ideas to the table and when we feel like we’re contributing and not only growing ourselves but helping others grow, it boosts our confidence and makes us feel stronger. There are several ways this can be done, the simplest is by reading a book, or listening to a podcast that’s industry related and teaches you something new. Then you can also invest in a course or take a workshop that focuses on skill development.
#3: Be Mindful of your self-talk: We’re often kinder to others than we are to ourselves. Yet, when we have negative self-talk, such as berating ourselves for a mistake or getting in trouble, or not achieving the expected results, we can be really hard on ourselves and how we speak to ourselves. But if we don’t take the time to pat ourselves on the back, celebrate the small wins and cut ourselves slack for mistakes, then who else will? One of the easiest and most sure fire ways we can boost our self-confidence is by being kind to ourselves, speaking to ourselves with respect and celebrating when things go well and going easy when mistakes are made.
#4: Develop your Emotional Intelligence (EQ): “Soft skills” are just as important today as hard skills and emotional intelligence is part of that. By improving your emotional intelligence you’re not only connecting with your emotions but you’re taking control of them. Having a strong emotional intelligence means you’re able to identify what you’re feeling and are able to regulate those emotions using positive coping strategies. It also means you’re able to empathize with others. When you have a strong emotional intelligence it builds confidence and also allows you to exude confidence.
#5: Have a sense of humor: Having a sense of humor puts things into perspective. If you’re able to laugh about hard situations, it can ease tension and also help find solutions to problems in creative and collaborative ways. It can also make you feel more confident about dealing with people. When you’re able to diffuse situations and not take everything so seriously, it fuels positive relationships, which in turn impacts confidence levels.
What do you do to feel confident? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or contact us.