Too many people I meet give an outward appearance of confidence but underneath they lack confidence and this holds them back.

  • Successful senior managers approach me who can get people to do things because of their role within their organisation but recognise that their approach to people could be improved, they can either appear as too confident and aggressive or just fail to meet their objectives, both down to lacking in confidence.
  • People newly appointed to their roles will also get in touch, they’ve passed the selection process, including appearing as confident at an assessment centre but need help in ensuring they can continue to be confident in how they deal with their manager and colleagues.

Lacking confidence can affect us in many ways, we avoid situations, often due to fear. We just don’t know how to behave. In meetings we don’t get the attention we should, people notice our body language, see us perhaps looking nervous and assume we won’t add anything of value. An initial impression that’s hard to overcome.

We’re not born confident

At best only 50% of our behaviour can be attributable to our genetics and there are techniques that can be learned.

  • Understanding Body Language – picking up on visual cues
  • Listening and questioning skills – asking open questions to get the other person talking
  • Stopping the negative self-talk
  • Overcoming faulty thinking
  • Taking a life audit
  • Seeing things as they really are – being more optimistic
  • Becoming more emotionally intelligent
  • Dealing with emotions
  • Developing assertiveness

Research by Amy Cuddy – do watch her TED talk, states that your body changes your mind. If we smile we feel better, and having a power stance can release Testosterone. Too often we have a less than confident pose, so stand talk and notice how that makes you feel. We’ve been told to fake it, to think about how a confident person would act. If you find it hard to make small talk, start talking with people you meet in a shopping queue, make a comment to your server at the restaurant. You could see yourself as an actor, preparing for a role, or imagine you are one of your more confident friends. To help my clients I now offer a ‘Learn How to be Confident eCourse’ which is great as a standalone programme or can be combined with coaching to consolidate what you learn through practice and feedback. You can read more here.

Before you go …

Brought to you by Denise Taylor, career coach and chartered psychologist with Amazing People. Denise is regularly featured as an expert in the press and is the author of 7 books including ‘How To Get A Job In A Recession’

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Published On: September 27th, 2014 / Categories: Career Management /

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