Projecting self-confidence as a leader is crucial for earning the respect and esteem of your staff, shareholders, and competitors. But, unlike other character traits, it’s not one that comes naturally to many in top management positions. And, contrary to what many might believe, it can be cultivated with time and training.
Here are some tips for developing your self-confidence as a business leader.
You know that subject you can talk about with ease? Or that chore you know you’re really good at? Or that daily task you do, like a crossword or a cappuccino, that you know you’ll ace? Pay attention to how carrying out an act you’re self-confident in makes you feel and focus on it, and make an effort to carry those feelings forward for activities you’re less confident about.
Everyone experiences self-doubt, even the most confident people you’ll ever meet. But allowing it to fester and grow will overshadow your efforts to build confidence. Listen to that nagging inner voice that’s holding you back and identify where it’s stemming from in order to nip it in the bud.
It might be a person, a place or a set of actions that set off negative emotions, which in turn cloud your confidence as a leader, leaving you believing that you’re not good enough. Identify those triggers and work on ways to either resolve them or eliminate them entirely.
Confident people carry their bodies in ways that project a sense of control and often turn to specific poses, body language or gestures that make them feel good. Experiment in front of a mirror – at home – before doing so at work to ensure you look and feel comfortable, rather than awkward.
Our surroundings impact how we feel – if your office is cluttered, dark, disorganised or drab, giving it a facelift may have the same effect on your state of mind. Observe how your space may be holding you back – and change it!
Here’s where you should heed the advice ‘fake it till you make it’. You may be sweating at the thought of a company-wide pep talk or presentation, but find it in you to appear as though you’ve done it all before and power on. Expressing certainty to others will also help build their confidence in you and, with enough practice, you’ll soon find yourself far more comfortable with doing the very same things that you once feared.
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