Projecting confidence in your professional life is sometimes easier to think about than to actually practice. Many of us truly know most of the answers, know when and when not to ask for help, and generally know our stuff when it comes to our business and the tasks we are responsible for. Sometimes, having to prove those abilities comes down to being confident. As any successful salesperson or longtime executive will tell you, “acting the part” is 50% of success!
So, thinking of yourself inhabiting the shoes of the role you want can build your confidence tremendously. If you get stuck, it may help to remember these other confidence-building tips:
Build upon the image you want others to witness in you – Your image is all about your confidence – your swagger! – and not the price tag of your shoes or the balance in your checking account.
Say “No” when you must – You can’t always meet everyone’s expectations or behave in a fashion that matches the world’s apparent plan. If you know you can’t reach a goal, say it as soon as you know it. You will all be better for it.
Think of yourself as a business owner, even if you work for someone else -“Owning it” like it’s yours gives you confidence like nothing else, as it will allow you to advocate on behalf of your product, sell through your service, and stand up for yourself confidently when you need to.
Express Yourself in Practice – Through your writing, reading, and listening skills. Write to the point, with an eye for the memorable. Read with an open mind and take notes. And listen without abandon, more than you speak: this is how we learn most rapidly about what’s great (and not so great) in the world; listening well also shows respect to those you are working with.
Spend most of your time with people who support you – It’s hard to hear sometimes, but you dishonor your mind and spirit when you cohort with people who criticize, condemn or downplay your importance. Instead of letting your friends, colleagues or clients dictate who you are, build your self-confidence by tuning into YOU. If this is difficult to practice, consider working with a therapist or life coach for a period, to help you recognize what anxiety, dread, disappointment, joy, contentment, and relief actually feel like – and then notice how you feel when you’re with certain people. If people close to you bring you down consistently, find new friends, and figure out a way to connect with positive clients and colleagues to build back your confidence.
Define what “taking risks” means to you – and take a little one every day — When you distrust yourself, or don’t reach out to others, or remain closed to vulnerability, or stop making waves, you miss too much! Take a small risk each and every day to get out of your comfort zone and start making bigger waves with your confident self!
How do you maintain confidence? Share with us on https://www.facebook.com/SpImageConsulting/
With 2018 just around the corner, it’s never too early to take an evening away from the holiday parties and gift-wrapping to consider where you want to be – and what you want to achieve – next year. A commonly referenced way to identify and then stick to your goals is to make sure they are SMART goals!
To refresh your memory, identifying and following SMART goals means that your goals are:
S: Specific – you clearly define what the goal is
M: Measurable – you can clearly measure where you stand in completing it
A: Attainable – you can do this without shaking up your whole life. Making it to the moon isn’t realistic for most of us, but losing 10 pounds might be!
R: Realistic – Your goal will only be met if it is meaningful AND realistic to achieve.
T: Timely – You start your work for this by January 2nd and can clarify when you will measure and ideally complete it
For you to get started on your goals, it is essential to write them down. Then, plan the steps out to achieve the goal. Doing this in writing, by hand, helps you determine if the goal is realistic and achievable. Then, you just have to follow through. A tip that’s helped some of our clients follow through in the past is making a copy of your goals and taping it to your bedroom mirror, bathroom mirror, and desk at work, so you can remember to check the steps as you are achieving them each day.
What are your goals for 2018? Let us know if we can help you achieve your SMART goals in the New Year!
Whether we like it or not, we are judged by our image. In this space and with our clients, we’ve done our fair share of posts on first impressions and dressing for success for ladies. Considering the revelations that have rocked the pillars of Hollywood, journalism, the arts, and many other industries over the past month, our own conversations have circled back to power and respect. For example, in the workplace, what’s “too sexy”, and in interactions with members of the opposite sex, what’s “flirtatious”?
As a woman, you can empower yourself immediately, in nearly any situation, by being in control of the verbal and nonverbal signals you’re sending. And while signals change depending on where you are, your confidence will apply in nearly any country you are traveling to. Here are a few body language mistakes that lady leaders often make.
Head tilts – Tilting your head can signal, “I’m listening”, but using it too much may be perceived as a sexy invitation. If you want to project power and authority, try to keep your head straight and forward, in a neutral position.
Girlish behaviors – Twirling your hair, playing with jewelry, biting your fingers, and touching your neck can make you appear nervous.
Nodding too much – Constant head nodding shows engagement and encouragement, but not power.
Voice “rise” – Raising the pitch of your voice in the middle of sentences is not an authoritative way to express yourself. Try to maintain a stable and strong tone.
Expressive hand movements – In situations where you want to maximize your authority — minimize your movements. When you appear calm and contained, you look more powerful.
Soft handshake – A weak handshake is perceived to be less confident and even submissive. Always try to go for a firm handshake.
Flirt – Flirting may gain you quick likeability, but may cause you to lose your competitive advantage in the business world. Try to avoid blatant flirting.
To improve your nonverbal communication skills, try working with a female friend who will give you honest feedback. Practice going through a 10-min presentation or business lunch, projecting confidence and avoiding the trouble habits listed above. Take your friend’s feedback seriously, and try to incorporate it into your professional life. Then, ask a trusted male friend to do the same with you. Ask them for feedback on your “performance”, especially your body language. Notice what may be different in his feedback, find the balance, and incorporate it.
Self-awareness in business interactions creates chances for you to get your core message (thoughts and ideas) across and in front of your gender and image. Your enhanced sense of confidence will project no matter where you are in the world, or whom you are doing business with.
How do you project confidence in the workplace through nonverbal communication?