When it comes to the professional world, confidence is key. Successful people will tell you to have a confident handshake, a confident gaze and to dress like a confident business person.
If you do all these things right, you will come off as a confident person. But if your confidence is a façade, it can only last so long.
In my six weeks of being an account executive at Tehama Group Communications, I’ve learned you must have inner confidence before outer confidence can flourish. “Fake it ‘til you make it” doesn’t actually work when you are trying to lead a team of people who count on you to call the shots.
I have always thought of myself to be a self-assertive. Yet when I began my internship at TGC, I found that I was doubting and second-guessing myself. The time came for me to be a leader and suddenly that confidence was gone.
My confidence had never really been put to the test before. A firm handshake and a great business outfit got me through the door, but the rest was up to me to prove my self-assertiveness. From the first week of my internship to now, I’ve learned a lot about how to maintain my self-confidence, even when I’m feeling doubtful.
Image courtesy of leadersinhighheals.com
Get organized and take charge.
You cannot be a confident leader if you do not properly plan. When it comes to conducting a meeting, make sure to create an agenda and know what you will say once the meeting begins. Keep control of the conversation. There will be some off-topic comments, but keep control of the tasks that need to be covered so the meeting stays on track.
Connect with your team.
No one wants to take direction from someone who seems disinterested in the people around them. Connect with the people you are working with and establish a relationship in the first stages of a project. Not only will they see you as less of a tyrant just rattling out order but they will be more inclined to churn out their best work every time they’re tasked with something.
Create a power mantra.
I recently started taking yoga classes and made my mantra, “You are confident, strong and centered.” It sounds cheesy, but convincing yourself of your own abilities can have a hugely positive effect on your psyche. Even if you’re not into the mantra idea, yoga classes may help clear your mind, which can also help you steer clear of being an overbearing leader.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It is good to remember that your confidence can always be improved simply by asking for guidance. Confident people are not invincible, and can still make mistakes.Asking for help is what led me to become more confident in my capabilities as a leader. It reassured me that being a leader is a learning process, that takes time and experience.
by Jane Eveland, Account Executive